We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Are two domains worse than one?

Does an old domain that points to a replacement domain and website hurt the search ratings?

I heard it does.

What is the best way to accomplish this?

Watch Question

Top Expert 2004
As I understand it, yes, having multiple domains point to the same content does generate an SEO penalty.

If you'd like to move all your old-domain URLs, try using redirects.  In Apache, that would look something like this:
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.myactualdomain.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule /?(.*) http://www.myactualdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L,QSA]

Open in new window

I'm by no means an SEO expert but I'd imagine it would only hurt your rankings:

1) Until the new site starts to propagate

2) If you try to double dip (mirroring pages and content between the two sites)

The best way to accomplish this is to redirect (or forward) traffic going to the old domain, to the new domain

This can be done through DNS, through your web server, and in most cases registrars like Godaddy will facilitate this under DNS settings

curiouswebsterSoftware Engineer


For the redirects to work, doesn't the old site still need to be hosed? In my case, I have one website, now only available with the new domain.

The old domain would need an update on my domain registrar.
nociSoftware Engineer
Distinguished Expert 2019
When using redirects YES, another option might be CNAME and also accept the old name on the new environment.
Most search engines don't penalize for 301 (permanent) redirects anymore. Use Steve Bink's method.
curiouswebsterSoftware Engineer