web forwarding and aliases

I have in mind registering a web site say, birminghamlawyers.co.uk

I would then upload my usual content on it and use my usual (different) domain to point permanently to it. (301 redirect?)

The idea is that anyone going to my website would go through to the destination web site which should in theory (my theory) rank higher than my present one as more people search for birmingham (+) lawyers than my domain.

OK, what are the pros and cons of that? Does it make any sense for SEO ?
topUKlawyerAsked:
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Randy DownsOWNERCommented:
There's no problem with permanently re-directing (i.e. 301) to the new domain.

You won't get much, if any, SEO advantage from redirects. You may even incur penalties if you have too many unrelated re-directs.

If the new domain has your keywords in it you should rank better than a domain without those keywords all other factors being the same.
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GaryCommented:
You may lose some SEO ranking, things like domain age can have an impact.
But a 301 is Google's recommended way of moving to a new domain.
I'm not sure what Number-1 means by unrelated re-directs as a 301 is a moved permanently so will not have any impact
Having a domain that says who/what you are will add a little to your SEO and also will have a bearing in search queries.
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/93633?hl=en
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COBOLdinosaurCommented:
You will gain just about zero from that strategy.  Putting a hyphen between birmingham and lawyers would be a better name.  However other than a few searches that contain the two words you are not going to gain anything.  

If you want to increase traffic you do it down in the site content.  A couple of articles about Birmingham and some must have unique content about lawyers will get you traffic, because that is what gets indexed and what Google gives the most weight when it is determining relevance.

Since the last update to the Google algorithm in May sites with quality content have seen traffic up by double digit percentages and junk content has been slammed (some sites seeing as much as a 40% drop in SE traffic.

Cd&
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topUKlawyerAuthor Commented:
Ok, I get it that a redirect wont cut it.

Would a blog with Birmingham-lawyers with quality content have better results thanmy own web site with the same content.

Or are you saying that it makes no odds search wise.

Could you give me a further nudge by what you mean by junk versus quality.
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GaryCommented:
Relevant domain names play a part in SEO but its one tiny slice of a much larger pie
If the new domain name if more relevant and is more suited to your business then you should move to it.
But in itself is not going to magically make you number 1 in Google.
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Randy DownsOWNERCommented:
@GaryC123 I meant that redirecting a bunch of domains to a central domain can have negative effects and should be avoided. Many companies have domains with similar names to keep them off the market.

In any case, a re-direct won't help SEO but it may give customers a route to teh new domain from an old bookmark or search result.

topUKlawyer check out this software to get a better idea of what on page optimization does for you. http://www.ibusinesspromoter.com/
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COBOLdinosaurCommented:
Well you can pay a consultant, but most SEO consultants are snake-oil salesmen and will take credit for improvements and blame changes in Google rules when you don't improve (which will be the case most of the time).

Let me give you the big three when it comes to Google:

Quality, unique content.  The more closely related it is to your business the better, but a bunch of images and a bit of marketing fluff won't cut it.

Technical quality.  If the code is trash then it won't validate and the indexing spiders will have a problem navigating and doing a good job because they expect the standards to be followed.

Accessibility/usability.  Anything that is difficult for a visually impaired person will affect the ranking because spiders are blind.  Google is not impressed by special effects, and great visuals. They are impressed by solid semantic presentation, and easy navigation.

Keywords no longer carry a lot of weight unless they are surrounded by content that make them relevant. the bottom line is that Google is trying to improve the quality of their search results, and an important factor for them is how long a user stays on your page when they click it in a search result.  That is called engagement, and Google uses it to dynamically adjust what they deliver for given search queries.

Cd&
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
The thing about seo... is there is no had facts other then your own experience.  However,  I have read with this last rolling update, domain names do not play as big a roll as they once did.    My personal feeling is you are better to stick with your company name if possible.  If your firm name is "Smih & Jones" you would be better to keep Smihjones.co.uk.  With that said, you may want to get birminghamlawyers.co.ok for the block.  Just park it and 301 rediect it to your own domain.  

As Cd& said, content is king.  Your content needs to be original.  There are plenty of law marketing firms that will sell you inexpensive content but it is the same stuff they sell to everybody else.  That duplicated content is a waste of money.  

Will a blog help? Yes. I would make several pages of articles if you will of your main areas of practice.  Then keep posting content pertinent to that theme (Bankruptcy, DUI, Trusts).  I also suggest hiring a good writer to do this.  I imagine the competition in the UK is no different then the US.  95% take the easy route, copy paste or just put content for the sake of content.  Well written, authoritative articles will place higher.    It will take time.

Make sure your google local (now google+) or any search engine's local info is up to date and complete as well.
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topUKlawyerAuthor Commented:
Wooo, this is quality stuff, many thanks for that.

I will do these things

1 Create a standalone solid blog.
2 retain my present site
3 build a small but interesting site at birminghamslawyers with a hyperlink to the other sites (how would this rate versus 301 redirect?)

Any final comments before points?
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
My opinion on your #3 is to not build an extra site called birminghamslawyers and instead generate your blog/articles on your own site.  The domain name has less meaning as far as seo other then somebody typing birminghamslawyers.co.uk to the address bar.  I don't see that happens in real life.  Instead, people search and research.  More then likely the will type in "birminghams lawyers" or "birminghams attornys" or more likely just "lawyers" or "attoryneys" and let Google automatically determine their location and pull up results.

With the lawyers I work with, I see more people coming to the site because of searching for one of the areas of practice / the type of trouble they are in.
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COBOLdinosaurCommented:
I agree with padas that number 3 does not really gain you anything.  Having the blog right on the main site actually would add some weight to it.  The additional content on the single site would mean more to Google.  The number of pages indexed does add a tiny bit to a site's juice, and if the articles are about the specific area of practice and contain unique information, you start to look more authoritative.

If you do decide to do a separate blog, then you want it hosted on a different class C IP address, and you want to have links to other sites as well as your own or Google may look to see if you are trying to game the search results.

Cd&
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
+1 ^
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topUKlawyerAuthor Commented:
Thanks can you explain the different class c IP address as this is lost on me.
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COBOLdinosaurCommented:
Yes an ip consist of 4 parts separated by the dots

like: 111.222.000.101
           A    B     C

an address like 111.222.000.101  are the same class C.  All 256 unique addresses under 111.222.000 are part of the same class C block

however 111.222.001.101 is a different class C

The reason for wanting different class C IP addresses is because a class C block is frequently owned by the same organization and therefore sites on the same class C ip may be related, so Google reduces the value of links from sites on the same class C IP.


Cd&
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topUKlawyerAuthor Commented:
COBOL

 thanks for this.

My birminghamlawyers site is registered and hosted by a different registrar.

Is this likely to have a different class C address.
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COBOLdinosaurCommented:
A different registrar will almost certainly be on a different Class C.

If you don't know the IP addresses you can use this domain lookup tool

Cd&
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