Merging multiple domains to one new site - best practices?


#1

Hey there,

I have a client ( non-profit organization ) with multiple websites, domains and hostings spread all over the country.

Something like
companyname-atlanta.com
companyname-georgia.com
houston-companyname.com
... and so on.

Now we want to build ONE central site companyname.com and let the separate ones slowly fade out.

I read here and there that redirecting all those domain names at DNS level might be a bad thing for our SEO.
So how should I approach this ?

My idea was
- transfer all domain names to one hosting company
- ask the hosting company to make all domain names point to the new companyname.com

Secondly : is there any possibility to check the referring domain name?

I would like to achieve the following

  • when a person visits www.companyname-atlanta.com
  • this visitor is redirected to companyname.com ( homepage )
  • this visitor sees the general homepage but with some little 'atlanta' customization.

So I'd need a kind of sniffer ( php, javascript, ... ) to check the inititial visited domain name.

I hope I make myself clear.

Thanks in advance !


#2

I'm not sure I understand that. Redirecting when you move pages or a site is always a good idea. Have you read Google's "change of address" advice?

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/83106?hl=en


#3

why don't you try htaccess file to redirect your all domains to main domain.


#4

Maybe my explanation is confusing. What I mean is not a 301 redirect in the htaccess, but directly link all domains at DNS level, so we can stop all those separate hostings at a certain time.


#5

All domain registrars have an option to point the registered site to a specific web host provider's domain name such as ns1.linode.com, ns2.linode.com, etc

Edit:
Blog from my current web host provider...

[offtopic]
One of my registered sites has had the DNS changed to six web host providers. Please note the change is not instant and propagation can take up to about three days to reset all the main global routers.

[/offtopic]


#6

You can't redirect on a DNS level. Maybe your provider makes it look like you can, but there is no such thing.

Also, referrers might be used, but they are instable at best and I would recommend against them.

Instead I would suggest .htaccess files on the domains (this may be on a new server, you don't have to keep the old servers for this) that redirects to the new website with some sort of marker of where they originally wanted to go, e.g.

companyname-atlanta.com -> companyname.com/atlanta

Where you can create a special landing page for atlanta

or

companyname-atlanta.com -> companyname.com/?region=atlanta

Where you get to the default home page, but you can use the query string to show some specific elements for atlanta.


#7

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