How many domains should you own?

Some of your competitors probably own more than one domain name.  Some even own hundreds.  Why?  In this episode of ‘Internet Marketing for Humans’ we discuss the logic and the potential madness of registering, owning and maintaining lots of domain names.

Podcast notes:

I’m not going to discuss how many websites you should have, I’ve talked about that before.

I’m also not going to talk about how to choose a domain name, I’ve also covered that before.

You probably only need the domain name you already have.

If you want to launch a new site consider a sub domain (so fish.andrewlaws.com) but bear in mind Google will treat that as a different site to your main domain site.

Launching a new site in a sub folder, so andrewslaws.com/fish can look totally different, and actually be a different site to your main domain site but will benefit from the SEO power you’ve already built up on your main site.

It shouldn’t matter too much if the topic is very different because you’re almost doing something a bit like silo sites, Google will take some goodness regarding the authority of your main site but will appreciate that it’s a different topic / site.

However it’s worth noting that launching a website on a sub domain, so fish.andrewlaws.com is less of a good idea if you want to capitalise on the good SEO work you have already done for your main domain. Google will treat it as entirely separate site. You’ll be starting again from scratch.

Should you bother buying variants of your domain name?
You can if you want, but it won’t help your SEO, and personally we don’t recommend it for any reason. If someone is using a variant of your domain name there are better avenues to sort the situation out.

Ultimately if someone buys a variant and tries to use it for business you can get them to stop by proving you have a legitimate claim to the domain name. For any business that has been operating for more than a few years this should be easy.

There are a lot of scammers trying to sell alternative domain names.

The classic being a call from an alleged registrar saying that someone else is trying to register a variant of your domain and they’re checking with you that you don’t want it.
This is total poop because anyone can register any domain name they want in seconds, it’s not really the responsibility of the registrar to check the legality of the claim. How would they? The profit margins for domain registrations are tiny, there’s nothing in the budget to chase up owners.

In summary you probably only need one domain.

You definitely don’t need to buy variants because of a call or email telling you someone else is going to register them

As a final thought, when you register a domain name you can sometimes choose to have the ‘whois’ information hidden. This might well stop phone calls offering you other domains but it’s my opinion that if you’re a legitimate business then you already have your official address and contact details all around the web, one more place won’t hurt. And it makes you look a lot more legit.