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I’ve been asked this question by several friends and colleagues as well as by several clients who own numerous domains and don’t understand what is the smartest way to utilize them.

First off, it is generally best to take the oldest domain you can find (based on its ‘creation date’ in WHOIS or from the Wayback.org results) that FITS with your site’s keyword targeting.

For example, if you have a great old domain, say runningshoes.com that was registered in 1994 and you also have woodenbarrels.com that was registered in 2005 it really depends on WHAT you are selling.

The goal is to rank high for things that your target consumer is already typing into Google now.

So if you are selling ‘Wooden Barrels’, then the choice domain to build around has got to be woodenbarrels.com.

Okay, so with that said, if you still own the runningshoes.com site and can’t do anything with it, simply 301 the site to woodenbarrels.com and forget about it until Nike offers you thousands to buy it.

Onto your barrels now – here is the question: Should I buy woodenbarrels.net, woodenbarrels.org, barrelswooden.com, thewoodenbarrel.com, woodenbarrel.com, woodenbarrel.net, woodenbarrel.org?

Are you ready for the real answer here?

Magic Hat Rabbit Adult
Its very simple.
Unless any of those domains were already ranking for terms, it really doesn’t matter until there is a site built around those terms attached to that domain.
BUT

Here is the catch:

http://wwff.files.wordpress.com/2007/06/catch.jpg

If you really want to rank first for “wooden barrels” and drive traffic to www.woodenbarrels.com, it isn’t buying the domains and forwarding them that is the key here. The real key is your competitors and preventing them from owning domains with the keywords you want to rank for.

So, go ahead and buy any domains that a competitor could potentially purchase and compete against you with, especially if your main keyword phrase is in it.

Initially you may think, “I don’t have to worry, I have woodenbarrels.com”. Then when you see Pay-Per-Click ads for ‘woodenbarrel.com’ coming up for searches on “Wooden Barrels” you’ll kick yourself for saving the $9.99 in the decision not to buy the domain when it was available.

Another alternative(which you should be doing anyways):

Build a really really great site, with awesome content, updated daily with meaningful information related to your topic and become the authority on Wooden Barrels. In conjunction with SERIOUS link-building, that’s the secret to ranking.

Your friendly neighborhood SEO

Comments

5 thoughts on “Will buying more domain names help my site rank higher?
  1. Preventing competitors from owning domains with the specific keywords you want to rank for will certainly be a prominent idea for the future of online advertising. I feel that because this industry is going at such a rapid rate, in-depth knowledge of your competitors becomes that much more of a significant factor. In order to succeed, the site must clearly fight off all existing competition to remain at the top! Mr. Kronis has out done himself once again!

  2. It depressing to me that taking the time and effort to make an actual content rich site for your own business is such an alien concept to a lot of people. Research, research, research I say! Then based off that information create a truly unique and informative user experience that is simple, effective, and targeted to your specific audience. This “set it and forget it” mentality truly hurts a lot of potentially great websites.

  3. Jeff Pickett says:

    kronis, you look great in that bunny costume!

  4. Mike Mothner says:

    Aaron,

    Excellent insight from an SEO perspective. Now from a marketing perspective, I think there is a HUGE difference between the .com name and it’s second-tier brethren. If we were Wpromote but located at wpromote.net, we would drive a huge amount of our branding value, clients and advertising efforts right into the open arms of the lucky owners of wpromote.com.

  5. Christian says:

    Great post! What will also be interesting is to see how google takes in new domain extensions as they continue to rise!

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