I have created a website.
I have 3 or 4 different domains that all point to the same site.
I’d like to make very small adjustments (i.e. banner name) to the same site and point each domain to relevant
for example. mynamewebdesign.com mylocationwebdesign.com clevernamewebdesign.com all to same content but different banner.
I feel I can’t just create 4 sites with different relevant banners because google will penalize me for having duplicate content … Or can I?!
Well, you can do whatever you want but Google does not like dup content they have made that pretty clear.
What are you trying to accomplish by having the other domains if the content is the same?
Thats what I thought.
the only reason to duplicate is that my current site is very location based. Santa Monica. I get majority of work through this as its high on google so I get enquiries via google every week and I don’t want to jeopardize that.
However it may put clients from further afield off.
I would just add a “service area” section to your pages or footer
You could also build a landing page for each area similar to what multi-location businesses do.
I’m a bit confused by this. I thought it was common practice to buy similar domains pointing to the same site.
What’s the done thing as far as this sort of thing is concerned?
pointing to, yes. duplicate content, no
Search engines like Google will consider URL’s that point to the same site as duplicate content. They have no way to know that you are “pointing” to the same place, and you can change where it points at any time. Some of the darker side SEO folks use to play a shell game with URLs. Look at one site and build up the SEO rating and switch to another site. This is the reason you need to do redirects with 301 (permanent).
How do you set that up? And how come web hosts don’t tell you this when they’re trying to sell you domain names?
Because they are trying to sell you domain names.
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66359?hl=en doesn’t seem to be addressed here unless I’ve missed something.