I've been reading up on domain aliases and SEO and I'm a bit confused, and wondered if someone could help make me understand.
I have 6 domain names, 3 .com, and 3 .co.uk - the reason being the complicated spelling of my company name.
I currently have MYPRIMARYDOMAIN.COM hosted on a seperate account to MYPRIMARYDOMAIN.CO.UK, this is because I want:
all Google.com traffic to go to MYPRIMARYDOMAIN.COM
all Google.co.uk traffic to go to MYPRIMARYDOMAIN.CO.UK
However both sites serve the same pages - is there a better way of doing this?
As for the other domains, they are setup within Plesk as domain aliases to the above domains. So the VARIATIONS.COM are all under MYPRIM...COM , and all VARIATIONS.CO.UK are aliases of MYPRIM.....co.uk.
When I go to VARIATIONS.CO.UK it serves the page MYPRIMARYDOMAIN.CO.UK and the URL stays in the browser as VARIATIONS.CO.UK.
From what I've read this seems bad and may mean my site wont get indexed.
What is the best way to setup my domains in Plesk/Apache? Should all sites be seperate hosting accounts? or are they OK as aliases?
Where I should put the 301 redirect. Should each domain be setup as an account with just a 301 redirect in the httpdocs folder? or can the 301 redirect (htaccess) be put in my primary domain httpdocs folder (and the variations.co.uk are left as aliases)?
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In order to have your two different localized sites directed to the appropriate search engine you can set this up in Google Webmaster Tools. You could do this with multiple TLDs as you are now or by using different subdomains or even just a directory structure. Regardless, GWT will help you out there.
If both the .com and .co.uk pages serve the same content, I'd recommend you review why you have multiple versions in the first place. Even if you have something different such as the phone number or physical address Google will consider it a different page and it will help in your localization effort.
In general, it's not a good idea to cloak the domain as you're doing because it is deceptive to the user. If it's deceptive to the user then it probably makes for a poor user experience and Google frowns on that.
It really makes no difference if your sites are hosted on the same server or not. Back in the day it did, but Google is good with shared servers now.
Not sure I understand your question about the 301.