How to forward a parked domain correctly

With web hosting being so affordable nowadays, many web hosts allow for multiple domains to be hosted either through multiple domain hosting, or through the use of parked domains. With domains from www.GoDaddy.com being so affordable, it’s common to get .com, .org, .net and more — especially for brand protection and online reputation management. The only issue with parking your domains is that if done incorrectly, you could potentially be penalized for having duplicate content. Many search engines explicitly indicate that duplicate content will face a penalty in their ranking. Suddenly your protection of your brand name or keywords doesn’t pay.

I came into this a few months ago when I needed to redirect ExtremePitaCatering.com to ExtremePitaNE.com while not losing any organic search results. The other kicker, they’re hosted on the same server, pointing at the same directory. It makes it easy to maintain. Reasoning behind the new domain is beyond the scope of this post, however simply forwarding the domain was the easiest route.

If you’re looking to forward a domain name, you’ll want to add the following code to your .htaccess

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} extremepitacatering.com$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://extremepitane.com/$1 [R=301,L]

The above is almost the exact code I use on the Extreme Pita Catering website. The best part is that it forwards the user seamlessly for old business cards out there, old search results, and pretty much anything else. Additionally it tosses a 301 status to the browser (or search bot) indicating to no longer index the page, but to update it to the new one.

Honestly, it’s a quick fix for those with an Apache server and mod_rewrite existing. Did I miss something? Am I doing it wrong? Have you got another way to forward a parked domain correctly?

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 6th, 2010 at 11:32 am and is filed under Code Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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