Multiple Domains for one shopping cart and SEO

Posted on 2011-04-24
Last Modified: 2012-05-11

 I am putting together a shopping cart/website, and was thinking of using multiple websites sharing a common database/shopping cart.
For example, having several domain sites called, the,, all sharing the same database
 and shopping cart. Each site would focus on a different type of product, such as lawn furniture for one, arbors and trellises for another, and lawn care products for another. All the product on all the sites would be the same, just each website would be set up differently to highlight the products it represents over all the other products.

What are the implications for SEO with search engines? I know google has restrictions on similar content.
If I made unique pages of information for each one, would that help?
What is the best way to approach this?
I would greatly appreciate any information on the implications I may face, or advice of using this method.

Question by:MikeMCSD
    LVL 8

    Accepted Solution

    First thing to note is that Google does not have a duplicate content penalty, though best SEO practice is to make sure your product content is unique.  With that said, if all your products have the exact same content on different URLs, Google does a good job of "consolidating" the duplicate content and indexing the content that it sees "best fit" for the search query.

    In regards to your websites, you would suggest making sure that all your product pages are unique from website to website, especially the products you are looking to highlight.  As mentioned before, Google consolidates duplicate content and indexes the page that is "best" for the search query.  The content needs to be unique enough in that Google can see a substantial difference in the content. (Changing a couple words around isn't going to work).  In essence, if you have duplicate content on all your sites, Google will index the best result which devalues any work that you did on the site that didn't get indexed (which actually could be your main site you are driving traffic to).

    LVL 9

    Assisted Solution

    Hi There . . .

    Personaly "what I would do" to avoid redundant content, and allow for the highest focus of content. I would seperate something like lawn care items from patio furniture. I would keep arbors with the patio furniture for example. Instead of having all the same product mix on EVERY site, keep the focus on category, like lawn furniture for example. This way you are not competing with yourself and getting higher focus for the category being featured.

    Since they are all your sites. Use text links and banners to build advertising to content not on the visited site. This was you can also catch a little link popularity for them as well.

    GF -
    LVL 16

    Author Comment

    thanks guys . .

    I'm thinking about doing this because I've seen this "trick" done by others when seaching google.

    Example : if you search "Cobhamly Luxury mesh back office chair", you will find this product listed in google from these 2 stores:

    Same company. They have the exact same products on both sites, ..  probably from the same database, not sure.
    They have good keywords in both domain names so I think that is one of the main reasons they do it. One for chairs, one for desks.

    So is it worth going through the trouble of doing this or just have one "main" site?
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    by:Matthew Nguyen
    I would argue that you should focus on content on one main site and target your keywords on a page basis.  Even though getting keywords into the domain still has value, Google is started to look at it as a lesser value when attributing rankings, they are looking at brand signals more and into the future.  Here is a video by Matt Cutts from Google about this very topic:  Keywords in Domain

    With this said, please understand that with SEO, the URL is not going to be your driving force behind getting ranked.  The content on the page/site, the related links pointing to these pages and the authority of your website are the things that are going to have to greatest impact on your site.

    I, personally, prefer the single/main site strategy and then maximize optimization on a per page basis.  You can absolutely rank for keywords without keywords in the domain and focus on the optimization of the page.  For example, if you do a Google search for "Printers," your first result is,  Best Buy doesn't have "printers" in the domain name but are still able to rank #1 for this search term.

    Hope this helps

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