By now, you likely already know that domain names are not related to .com, .net, .org, or .biz options.
And there’s already a multitude of other options as new top-level domains have been made available. Even if you are buying cheap or on sale domain names from a reliable registrar, should you just get the .com option or should also register other top-level domains?
The common sense answer to this question is, of course, a "No".
It does not make economic and practical sense obtaining all of the available domain name options. Even if you are buying cheap or on sale domain names from a reliable registrar, buying all is going to be costly and there are no significant benefits in doing so. However, obtaining multiple domain names can create advantages.
There are already hundreds of new top-level domains, including ones that seem to be most appropriate for certain websites, such as .cafe, .restaurant, .hotel, and .store.
However, .com is still the most preferred top-level domain. This is arguably because it is what most internet users have become accustomed to. It is regarded as a more authoritative domain.
If you are still starting out with your site or blog and the .com option is available, it is advisable to choose the .com option. It can be said that if you own the .com domain for a site, your site will be considered the original site.
This makes sense because the .com domain came first and the new domain names tend to be chosen as alternatives. If somebody would try to copy your site, they would have to make do with the alternative domain names.
Computer and dice from Scanrail1/Shutterstock
It is possible to use a number of domain names for a single site. To emphasize, though, this is about using several domain names pointing to a single site, not having different domain names for different websites with the same content.
For example, if you have a site yoursite.com, you can use yoursite.net, yoursite.biz, yoursite.org, yoursite.store, etc redirecting to yoursite.com. This means that ultimately only have yoursite.com as your site and the rest of the domain names are just to direct traffic.
For this, you need to use a 301 redirect. It is a permanent redirect said to pass on 90% to 99% of link equity or ranking power to the target page. Basically, it tells search bots that a domain name does not have anything in it so the bots should just go to the target website. It prevents search engines from penalizing a site for duplicate content.
You may have read on SEO forums and blogs that using multiple domains is bad for SEO but this is only because of possible duplicate content. With proper redirection, it’s is okay and can even be helpful to use multiple domain names.
Using multiple domain names is a way of making sure that your potential visitors reach your site. If they can remember the first part of your domain name but aren’t sure of the domain suffix, you can still lead them to your site if you own the other “versions” of a domain name. This is particularly important if your potential visitors are manually entering your web address into a browser’s address bar.
The use of multiple domain name options does not have real SEO benefits. This is the consensus of almost all SEO experts across the world.
If you are going to spend for more than just a .com domain, don’t expect it to translate to higher SERP ranking. There can be benefits, but they are in other aspects.
Often, the domain name for a website is also used as its brand name.
When you do marketing, you may have used yoursite.com in your marketing copies, posters, banners, emails, and promotional videos. As such, if you use multiple domains, you may confuse your branding. Should you promote .com, net, .biz, .store, or the other domains you purchased? If you don’t promote these domain names, what’s the use of spending money on them?
If you are new to online marketing and SEO, the use of multiple domain names can be a headache, especially if you are the type who simply hops from one blog or forum to another to get insights or ideas on marketing and SEO.
The concepts and supposed rules from “experts” can befuddle you. It can turn your branding efforts into a mess.
The use of multiple domain names can be considered as a form of brand protection. It prevents ill-intentioned competitors from usurping your brand identity.
Likewise, it prevents others from setting up websites under similar domain names to create something that can be negatively associated with your brand. It prevents cybersquatting and possible scamming. It helps ensure that you have control over how your site is perceived online.
You shouldn’t be buying all domain name options, but you can sensibly invest in multiple domain name options.
The main purposes of which are to protect your brand and ensure that visitors reach your site. However, the use of multiple domain names only creates significant benefits to sites that are already gaining a lot of eyeballs or those that show great promise of becoming a major online presence.
If you are still starting out, the most important domain to get is a .com domain or the more traditional ones people are already accustomed to.