Redirect question for a .com & .net version of same domain

13 replies
I have a new client that is using the .net and .com version of the same domain. They have the exact same content on both. So to keep from getting a duplicate content penalty, I want to redirect the .net to the .com version, so would a 301 redirect be the best option or would doing a domain forwarding be best?

Thanks
#domain #net #question #redirect #version
  • Profile picture of the author Tim Brownlaw
    What I'v done in the past is just to forward the domain via the registrar.

    It's neater and you don't need to keep the hosting account for the redirected site.



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    Tim
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    • Profile picture of the author mraffiliate
      Originally Posted by Tim Brownlaw View Post

      What I'v done in the past is just to forward the domain via the registrar.

      It's neater and you don't need to keep the hosting account for the redirected site.



      Cheers
      Tim
      I was thinking the same thing too but the odd thing is I have been updating their WordPress site and all the changes I make on the .com domain are also changing on the .net version as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author thepresence
    Mraffiliate, I am unsure of what you mean. When you redirect as Tim suggested (which is the cleanest way), the .net version just redirects to the .com version. So, in essence, there really is no .net website.
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    • Profile picture of the author Don Art
      Check the DNS. Both are probably already pointing to the same host either via A record or cname. (based upon what you said)

      If that is already the case, at a minimum, add a canonical link element to every page specifying the .com version as authoritative.

      However, probably better from a Google point of view is to 301 redirect all .net traffic to the .com. That would mean specifying a 301 in the .htaccess file.
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      • Profile picture of the author mraffiliate
        Originally Posted by trudev View Post

        Check the DNS. Both are probably already pointing to the same host either via A record or cname. (based upon what you said)

        If that is already the case, at a minimum, add a canonical link element to every page specifying the .com version as authoritative.

        However, probably better from a Google point of view is to 301 redirect all .net traffic to the .com. That would mean specifying a 301 in the .htaccess file.
        Since the domains are hosted on a different server than his new site, HostGator recommended I make the .net "non-primary domain" an add-on domain so that will allow me to go into the HostGator cpanel and do a 301 redirect from the .net to the .com
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    • Profile picture of the author mraffiliate
      Originally Posted by thepresence View Post

      Mraffiliate, I am unsure of what you mean. When you redirect as Tim suggested (which is the cleanest way), the .net version just redirects to the .com version. So, in essence, there really is no .net website.
      Here is what I finally discovered happening:

      1- 5 yrs ago my client had his site and .net & .com domains hosted at 1&1. His site was on the .com "his primary domain"

      2- 2 yrs ago he domain forwarded the .net to the .com "domain forward, not a 301 redirect"

      3- 2 months ago Client was having issues with his WordPress site on 1&1 and tech support told him that WordPress was quirky on their servers so my client decided to open a hosting account at HostGator. Client didn't know how to transfer his site to another host so he had a "friend" do it for him. This friend built a new site on both the .net & .com at HostGator, somehow making both sites share the same mysql database. This site was a new WordPress design and a lot of the links on the new site were different than the old site. He also made the .com an add-on domain and the .net the primary.

      Ok, now the new sites are complete. This friend deleted the old site at 1&1 and did not do any 301 redirects. So now when I log into WebMaster tools, he is getting new 404 errors.

      Also Google has already indexed the old site that was at 1&1, the new .com and .net sites at HostGator. So there is duplicate content all over the place.

      The real quirky thing that was happening too was when I updated the .com through the WordPress Admin panel, the same changes occurred on the .net as well since they were sharing the same database. So when I typed in the .net domain in my browser, the same site and content would appear that was on the .com and when I would move my mouse over the links, they pointed to the .com.

      Me and tech support at HostGator had to go in and delete the .com as an addon domain, change it to the primary domain, and take the .net out of the same database.

      I had to go back in to HostGator and add the .net as an add-on domain so that I could do the 301 redirect to the .com

      I know people say just do a 301 redirect from domain A to domain B but Google recommends doing a link to link 301 redirect. Since this friend didn't do any 301 redirects from the old site to the new one, I will just have to deal with the 404 crawl errors by putting removal requests to Google. Eventually the crawl errors will stop and the indexed pages from the .net will drop out of Google's index.
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  • Profile picture of the author kokopelli
    If that doesn't work, you can create a .htaccess file for the .net and add this code to redirect all its juice to the .com:
    Code:
    Options +FollowSymLinks
    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteRule (.*) http://newsite.com/$1 [R=301,L]
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    • Profile picture of the author mraffiliate
      Originally Posted by kokopelli View Post

      If that doesn't work, you can create a .htaccess file for the .net and add this code to redirect all its juice to the .com:
      Code:
      Options +FollowSymLinks
      RewriteEngine on
      RewriteRule (.*) http://newsite.com/$1 [R=301,L]
      I may have to do this. Adding the .net as an add-on domain and then redirecting it to the .com isn't working through HostGator's cpanel.

      Will a 301 redirect WordPress plugin work? I have wondered if the plugins actually write to the .htaccess file.
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      • Profile picture of the author jawanda
        Originally Posted by mraffiliate View Post

        I may have to do this. Adding the .net as an add-on domain and then redirecting it to the .com isn't working through HostGator's cpanel.

        Will a 301 redirect WordPress plugin work? I have wondered if the plugins actually write to the .htaccess file.
        Can't imagine why you'd want to use a Wordpress plugin when it's so easy to do via htaccess. Part of the beauty of the suggested htaccess solution is that it creates a virtual 301 redirect for each page of the site ... so as long as a page with the same name exists on the 'new' site, it will be redirected cleanly, and as stated, pass the link juice.
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        • Profile picture of the author mraffiliate
          Originally Posted by jawanda View Post

          Can't imagine why you'd want to use a Wordpress plugin when it's so easy to do via htaccess. Part of the beauty of the suggested htaccess solution is that it creates a virtual 301 redirect for each page of the site ... so as long as a page with the same name exists on the 'new' site, it will be redirected cleanly, and as stated, pass the link juice.
          Thanks for the information.

          I was just told by my client that the .net is of no use to them. It was set up as a temporary site until the .com site was ready so they will not lose any link juice, backlinks, etc. After changing the .com back to the primary domain, it took the .net version out of the same database and now the .net just goes to a parked page when you type it into your browser. This is fine now because the client is going to let the .net expire this month anyway.

          The problem originally arose when my client's friend moved his site to a new host and this friend placed a copy of the site on the .net as a temp site until the .com was done. The guy managed to have the .net and .com share the same mysql database which caused both to have the same wordpress site and Google indexed both the .net and .com with the same and some different info. My client is going to let the .net expire this month and so in a few weeks all the .net indexed pages will fall out of Google's index. When I first started this thread I didn't realize that after making the .com back to the primary domain, it deleted all the info on the .net and directed it back to a parked page.

          jawanda, I do have a question for you though. I'm not experienced changing the .htaccess files. There is a page on my clients blog that need a 301 redirect to different page within the same blog. Currently I'm using a plugin for that which works but I don't think it actually wrote to the .htaccess file because when I open the .htaccess file I don't see any redirects from those pages. So do you recommend doing it manually by changing the .htaccess file directly and reuploading it to the server? I tried doing the redirects within HostGator's cpanel but it would work for a day or two and then go back to not working so that's why I did the plugin. What code would I put in the .htaccess file if I wanted to 301 redirect a page within the same blog:

          1- clientsite.com/photo/ redirected to clientsite.com/city-state-photograpy

          2- Also what code would I use to redirect the www. to the non www. of the same domain?

          Thanks
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    • Profile picture of the author Domainate
      Originally Posted by kokopelli View Post

      If that doesn't work, you can create a .htaccess file for the .net and add this code to redirect all its juice to the .com:
      Code:
      Options +FollowSymLinks
      RewriteEngine on
      RewriteRule (.*) http://newsite.com/$1 [R=301,L]
      I would go this route since you already have it hosted.
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  • Profile picture of the author kokopelli
    Yes, if the .net is running WordPress, you can use a plugin, or just add the above code to the .htaccess file. A plugin like WordPress › WP htaccess Control « WordPress Plugins allows custom code to be added to the htaccess file. Remember to save your Permalinks afterwards.
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    • Profile picture of the author mraffiliate
      Originally Posted by kokopelli View Post

      Yes, if the .net is running WordPress, you can use a plugin, or just add the above code to the .htaccess file. A plugin like WordPress › WP htaccess Control « WordPress Plugins allows custom code to be added to the htaccess file. Remember to save your Permalinks afterwards.
      The .net isn't running wordpress. The .net is hosted at a different hosting company. The .net DNS is pointed to HostGator is all. This is why the tech support suggested making the .net an addon domain and then doing a 301 redirect through the cpanel. I did this but it didn't work.
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