We all know that links to your site make up a big portion of SEO “authority.” Sites with more links have more authority. That would mean it’s a good idea to create multiple websites for your business that can all link to each other, right? Wrong!
Creating multiple websites, or domains, does more harm than good for your website, your brand and your customers.
1) Multiple domains dilute the potential authority of your primary website
As I mentioned, links are authority. More links to your website = more authority. More authority = higher rankings in Google searches.
You can’t control what other websites choose to link to. When you have multiple domains, you run the risk of splitting up your backlinks among those sites.
Therefore, you create many weak sites instead of one strong site. Let me use an example from my own company.
These are just a few of dozens of Ricoh domains that have been created over the years. As you can see, the main Ricoh domain (http://ricoh-usa.com/) has 249,377 backlinks, but has tens of thousands of backlinks spread out among these other domains.
If Ricoh started merging these domains into the primary domain, all of those additional backlinks would make that domain stronger, meaning the main site can compete more strongly in search against competitors. One strong site beats a dozen weak sites.
Look at it this way: Would you rather go into battle with one strong battleship or 50 potato guns? Right now, Ricoh has potato guns, but we are in the process of building a battleship.
2) Those additional links probably aren’t worth much
Links are important, but links from “high authority” sites (sites with lots of links and high domain authority) are much more important to building your own site’s authority.
Every time you create a new domain, it’s like a newborn baby. It has no “connections” (links) and it has no authority. Therefore every new site is starting from the bottom, and has to build authority from the ground up.
If you look at the list of supplemental Ricoh domains above most of them have pretty weak authority. Therefore, whatever “link juice” they are providing to the main Ricoh domain is minimal. The main Ricoh site would have benefitted much more from the backlinks that all of those small domains have that could have been going into one strong domain.
If you do need to separate one part of your website off, use a subdomain, don’t create a new domain. Subdomains allow you to separate a concept from your main site, but it still stays in the same domain and its links feed and strengthen the primary domain.
For example, Amazon’s charitable site is https://smile.amazon.com/. By keeping it in the amazon.com domain, the main site still benefits from the links to that subdomain. This would not have happened if they had built a new domain called something like amazoncares.com.
3) Confusing for customers
When you have multiple domains for your business, it creates a confusing customer experience. Let’s use another example from Ricoh.
When I do this search for Ricoh support, I get four different domains and one subdomain in my results. Where am I supposed to go if I am a customer?
This problem becomes worse if customers have to jump in and out of different domains to access all of your products. Imagine in you went to McDonald’s to get a meal, but they only gave you the cheeseburger. Then the tell you you have to go to McDonald’s Fries next door to get your fries, then go down the street to McDonald’s Drinks.
Instead of making customers jump around your domains, create one site with a well-organized structure that allows customers to easily find the answer or product they are searching for.
Should I Have More Than One Website for My Business?
The answer is no, you should not create more than one website for your business. Multiple domains:
– Dilute your authority and ability to rank
– Do not provide much link value
– Are confusing to customers
Keeping all of your content in one site using a good folder structure and subdomains where needed will make your domain stronger and more competitive in search.