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  1. #1
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    Question The Addon Domain Dilemma - Do Addon Domains Fare Worse In SE's Than Separate Domains?

    Do search engines know the difference between addon domains hosted in a single CPanel account and separate domains hosted in a reseller account with WHM where each domain has its own CPanel?

    If they do know the difference, does it make a single bit of difference concerning indexing and SEO, or are addon domains treated exactly the same as separately hosted domains?

    What is the current knowledge about this?

    You can have 100 addons riding on 1 main domain, or 100 with their own CPanel in WHM - does it matter at all for their fate with the SE's?

    There seems to be nothing but conflicting statements about this to be found on the Web, with none yet that appears to answer the question for sure.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict Troy1960's Avatar
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    I'm interested too... I wouldn't think it has an affect but I'll let someone experience in SERP chime in.
    Gunwallet.com- Digitally backup vital gun information.

  3. #3
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    I'm starting to wonder if anyone really knows for sure. But this is pretty important for everyone who hosts numerous domains.

    Up until now I've been using WHM to manage domains in a reseller account. Recently I opened a nonreseller CPanel account that allows unlimited domains, and I've found that it's really more convenient to use addons than WHM, except for the lack of alphabetical order.

    I would rather use CPanel with many addons than WHM with many CPanels, but not if there can be even the slightest difference in indexing and SEO.

    (By the way, is it normal for addons to be out of order? The hosting company said they can't do anything about it and that it's related to the mail server.)

  4. #4
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    All that a search engine would have to go on to know if a domain was an add-on or not is if the sites are on the same IP address - since it can't see the file structure on the server, only the domain name and IP. If sites were penalised for being on the same IP address then all sites that don't have their own dedicated IP address would be penalised. As there are many more sites than there are IP addresses I don't believe that sharing an IP address would be of concern except perhaps in the rating of link values with links to a site on a different IP counting more for the destination page than links from the same IP. The search engines wouldn't have enough access to any information to allow for more than that.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  5. #5
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Just yesterday I had to talk to support from GoDaddy about just this issue. He assured me it isn't a problem. (Hope he knows!)

    What I thought was, that because the "addons" fall under the primary domain, search engines may not give the addons the rankings they deserve and I was also concerned that they might be put into supplemental pages under the primary.

    Where I host, the root domain is blank ( /.) and you can place all domains under this blank root so there is no way of telling which domain is primary. I am definitely more in favor of doing things this way, but still I have only one user account... so again, I'm not sure if it makes any difference to the Search Engines.
    Linda Jenkinson
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  6. #6
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    Thanks all for these posts. Stephen, I think you may have just given the clearest and most understandable and sensible statement I've ever come across on the matter, and it makes me feel better about the whole matter. Linda, you have certainly raised an interesting element, and I do hope this blank root domain doesn't complicate the equation, which appears to otherwise be solved by Stephen. Otherwise, I wonder if it's possible to "blank out" the root in one's account.

    I must admit, after using only a reseller plan for years, I was surprised to discovered how much more desirable it was to use addons instead, except for the alphabetical order thing.

    As if seeking to complicate the equation myself, I would also mention that for the root domain and all the addons, I always redirect the non-www to the www version in order to avoid a possible duplicate content penalty. You can set up redirection using the tool in CPanel, but then you have to go into the .htaccess for each addon and just delete the part about redirecting the www to itself, leaving only self-non-www to self-www. Also, I discovered the hard way that RewriteEngine has to be off before the redirect for each addon, which I found could be accomplished by just adding RewriteEngine Off after the redirect in the root domain instead of having to add it to every addon's .htaccess.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domains View Post
    You can have 100 addons riding on 1 main domain, or 100 with their own CPanel in WHM - does it matter at all for their fate with the SE's?
    How would the search engine know which domain is an add-on and which is not?

  8. #8
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheesedude View Post
    How would the search engine know which domain is an add-on and which is not?
    They don't. This has absolutely no effect on SEO as long as they are all pointing to separate websites.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    Interesting question.

    Just recently I got to wondering about how this would affect my positioning within certain keyword searches, in particular with Google.

    I run www.egaragesales.com.au and also have www.yardsales.com.au which points to the same website.

    Interestingly enough, when typing in "garage sale" Im first in Google, however when typing in "yard sale" im nowhere to be found.

    Could anyone shed some light on this.

    Is it really worth while having the additional domains? Apart from just parking out potential competitor name spaces?

    RJ

  10. #10
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    Oops, am I allowed to post those links???

    RJ

  11. #11
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    That's because having two domains pointing to one site serves no SEO purpose. The second domain is filtered out as duplicate content. At best you get nothing for your efforts At worst you divide the content Google indexes amongst two sites which does help you at all. Just do a 301 redirect from the secondary domain to the first one.

  12. #12
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    This is looking better and better really.

    Btw, I'd say 301 all the way, too. In fact aren't you even risking a penalty without a 301?

    Finally, if anyone can help with this other matter I mentioned about addon domains being out or order, I've made a thread over here: http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/show...wpost&t=529455.

    Thanks.


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