Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Gary Ashton on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Sunday, August 30, 2015).

Using masked URL

i have a number of URL`s that I point to pages within my site as a masked URL. These are easier to refer people to such as NashvilleLuxuryHomes.com which points to my page full of luxury homes :)

Some one told me that Google doesn`t like this and it can actually hurt my rankings. 

I do it for marketing reasons as the actual url is so long and it`s easier to remember NashvilleLuxuryHomes.com

Any advice or is this even true that Google doesn`t like this?

G :)

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YOUR ANSWERS

Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Gary Ashton: i have a number of URL's that I point to pages within my site as a masked URL. These are easier to refer people to such as NashvilleLuxuryHomes.com which points to my page full of luxury homes :)

    Some one told me that Google doesn't like this and it can actually hurt my rankings. ;

    I do it for marketing reasons as the actual url is so long and it's easier to remember NashvilleLuxuryHomes.com

    Any advice or is this even true that Google doesn't like this?

    G :)
  • Chase Billow: Can you explain what you mean by "masked url"? ;
  • Gary Ashton: If u type in nashvilleluxuryhomes.com it takes you to the luxury page on my site nashvillesmls.com/luxury-homes-estates.php but instead of just forwarding it the user will see the url they typed in ur nashvilleluxuryhomes.com
  • Shawn Payne: have you used google analytics to see how many real people type in the url, and land on it before getting redirected? I redirect www.rockyriverpestcontrol.com to my main site, www.lakewoodplantandpest.com I seriously doubt many people search exactly that domain in the search bar of google chrome to make any difference. That domain is just a redirect and doesnt even show in the search results. Id think the only beneficial way to do that is to make nashvilleluxuryhomes.com an actual functional page with 1000 words atleast, a video, pictures, and such. then put a link people can click to see the actual homes or whatever it is 
  • Rotimi Orimoloye: +Gary Ashton
    Not sure if Google is angry with your site for using HTML frames. Meanwhile, you can tell when they are angry, either from their messages in Webmasters Tools. Or by observing your position in the rankings after major updates. :)

    However, beyond Google's likes and dislikes, for your site to rank well in search engines generally, they need to have easy and multiple access to your pages to index your content and ascribe link juice to and from pages that deserve them. If your "masking" technique does not allow them to do this freely, that could be......a little bad, I guess.

    For example, your blog (if it is really good) could bring in a lot of traffic as well as juice. But how do users share your blog posts? (e.g. ;Cindy Huskey of REMAX busy working in the Nashville area!)
    How does a user that doesn't know how to navigate to the frame source share this content?
    They simply pick up what is in the URL address box for every page and share that. i.e. ;nashvilleluxuryhome(dot)com
    That's really not good. Unless you figure out a way to solve that....... i.e. add social share buttons to every page sharing from the frame source and not the frame generator. :)

    I hope this helps.
  • Gary Ashton: No..google's not angry as far as I know. I just wanted to see if there were any problems with using more specific domain names to point to pages within my site.

    I guess its just a branding exercise to use a memorable domain that can actually be remembered and marketed in print and mask that domain so that if people click on the link or type it in, they are taken to a page on my site that would have a much longer actual URL.

    The blogs are more to attract people because of the content and the internal links should actually help them find the relevant info on the site. The blog about Cindy is really something that I do to reward the agent's success on my team, and then I share that to FB, just using the actual URL to post on FB.

    Really I just wanted to know if Google devalues your site for using other urls that point to certain pages in my site and if masking them is detrimental :)

    G :)
  • Rotimi Orimoloye: +Gary Ashton
    Oh I know what you are doing sir.
    And I understand it perfectly. I myself have a background as an #Adman  ;in print marketing :) I know it sucks to sell people some lousy sounding url. For sure! ;

    And while I am not sure Google would devalue your site for frames (I doubt it though) the problem comes when a user has to reshare or link to your individual pages on their own (without your input). In SEO our job is to cover all the bases. And this is quite a crucial one, if you ask me.

    Still think you should look into the social buttons I mentioned, and even that will not stop many users from just grabbing the url on top of the page. :) ;

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on G+, Sunday, August 30, 2015).

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