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Doing SEO / HTML 301 redirects correctly

Posted on 2013-12-11
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Last Modified: 2013-12-12
I've been advised by a company who is looking into SEO on my web site that I need to add 301 redirects. Before I go ahead and blindly do what they suggest I am looking for an understanding of whether this is what I want to do, and whether there are alternative ways to achieve what I want?

The situation is: I have a number of domains I have used over the years in my role as a contractor. I have also been a manufacturer of products for a few years, and the names of the products have evolved over time but the domains referring to those products by name are still mine.

2 years ago we settled on a name for the company, but because the .com was reserved and the owner wanted to many $ for it, I bought the .net, and .biz, .info, etc.... and we started using the .net everywhere. the others I just pointed to the .net (so www.myweb.biz has a CNAME record pointing to my web.net).
This .net decision has essentially locked our emails as .net

I then convinced the owner of the .com to sell, and have set up the web site as www.myweb.com. And I went about changing all the CNAME records to point to my web.com.

The problem is more than the .net / .com issue.
Before we named the company "my web", we were called "something-else.net". And people still refer to the company as "something-else". We also have product names that people use as the web address so we have people going to www.ProductName.net and because I have a CNAME on that address, they end up at the correct "my web.com".

My question:
What is the correct / best way to operate? Do I remove the CNAME redirects entirely? Do I update the alternative domains to have A Records, and then use IIS to do the 301 Redirect? Or, do I leave things as they are because they do work?
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Question by:Bird757
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Scott Fell,  EE MVE earned 500 total points
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In short, you have something like
myweb.net
myweb.biz
myweb.info
productname.net
otherproductname.net

and now you have finally purchased myweb.com and you want to use that as your main domain.

Your seo company is correct, you simply want to do a 301 redirect for each of the other domains to the new myweb.com domain.  Keep it that simple for your "a" records.  For your mx records, you probably want to make the .com an alias of the .net and start using the .com. By making it an alias, mail going to me@myweb.net or me@myweb.com will be the same.

From a marketing side, you wan to do what you can to educate people on the new name.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
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I would tend to leave things as they are because I don't like to 'fix' things that are working.  I would probably make the '.com' a brand new web site that is an 'umbrella' or master site for all the other things you are doing.  Matter of fact that sounds like a good thing for me to do with all my domains.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Bird757
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Thank you. The confirmation is appreciated. I have made the "mistake" of using CNAME entries which is what the SEO company is objecting to.
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