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.com and .ca domain - does this hurt my ranking? RRS feed

  • Question

  •  

    Hi

     

    We have a website for our small business and we have both a .com and .ca version (e.g. www.mybusiness.com and www.mybusiness.ca). Both URLs point to the same website server and therefore content.

     

    I'm new to all this indexing and ranking stuff, but from what I have gathered this would be considered "duplicate content" and therefore hurt my ranking in search engines such as MSN Live?

     

    I don't have the option of using 301 redirects, the .com and .ca domains are just convenience for customers and potential customers, but if having that hurts our search results then I should stick to one domain right?

     

    Since this is what we have in place currently (.com and .ca) do I need to do anything once we remove one domain so that our site is reindexed and/or any penalities removed?

     

    Thank you for your help,

     

    Mark

    Friday, September 26, 2008 4:01 AM

Answers

  • Hi, Mark.

     

    Duplicate content is where two websites have the same (or very close to the same) content.  You don't have two websites, so you're okay.

     

    Purchasing both the .com and .ca domain names - and parking one on the other - is a good practice, I think, and I recommend it to all of my commercial customers. It really is a convenience to their business customers.  Plus, it protects them from having the competition licensing the domain name and redirecting visitor to the competing business.

     

    If I'm wrong about this, then the search engines are dictating a policy that is not in the best interest of the ultimate consumer.

     

    I suspect that there could be a drawback regarding the "link juice", however.  For example, if the main website is mybusiness.ca and mybusiness.com is parked on it, then you would want all of your backlinks to use mybusiness.ca.  I think that if you get backlinks to mybusiness.com they would not "count" in the backlink totals for the .ca website, which would end up hurting your search rankings a bit.

     

    ... Duane

    Saturday, September 27, 2008 3:25 PM
  • Hi Mark,

     

    What Duane said is correct and using a 301 is the right way to go. Let me know if you have any other questions.

     

    Tuesday, October 28, 2008 3:50 PM

All replies

  • Hi, Mark.

     

    Duplicate content is where two websites have the same (or very close to the same) content.  You don't have two websites, so you're okay.

     

    Purchasing both the .com and .ca domain names - and parking one on the other - is a good practice, I think, and I recommend it to all of my commercial customers. It really is a convenience to their business customers.  Plus, it protects them from having the competition licensing the domain name and redirecting visitor to the competing business.

     

    If I'm wrong about this, then the search engines are dictating a policy that is not in the best interest of the ultimate consumer.

     

    I suspect that there could be a drawback regarding the "link juice", however.  For example, if the main website is mybusiness.ca and mybusiness.com is parked on it, then you would want all of your backlinks to use mybusiness.ca.  I think that if you get backlinks to mybusiness.com they would not "count" in the backlink totals for the .ca website, which would end up hurting your search rankings a bit.

     

    ... Duane

    Saturday, September 27, 2008 3:25 PM
  • Hi Duane,

     

    Thanks for the information. All links are relative or, if fully qualified, point to the primary domain (the .com version). I'm checking with the hosting service to make sure that the .ca is a 301 redirect to our .com site just to be sure. From what I have read in forums and blogs using 301s is the proper way of doing things and won't be penalized as duplicate content.

     

    Mark

     

    Saturday, September 27, 2008 3:35 PM
  • Hi Mark,

     

    What Duane said is correct and using a 301 is the right way to go. Let me know if you have any other questions.

     

    Tuesday, October 28, 2008 3:50 PM