Does Having Multiple Websites Hurt SEO?
Businesses often make the mistake of creating multiple websites that offer identical products or services, believing this will increase their chances of online success. However, having multiple websites will likely cause more harm than good.
When companies have more than one site, they often reuse the same content across both domains. Google considers this "duplication" which flags your content and your website as fraudulent. It's considered Negative SEO or, in other words, using unethical search engine ranking techniques to outrank your competitors.
It's important to note that Google does not penalize duplicate content throughout the pages of one website. It's only cause for concern when content appears to be unoriginal or copied from another site.
Even Without Duplicate Content, You Can Still Compete Against Yourself for SEO Ranking
If you have two websites, but the content is completely different, it can still hurt your SEO ranking. It's likely that even if your content is different, you are still trying to hit the same keywords on both of your websites. This means that your two websites are competing to outrank each other.
You're now also doing twice the work since you are trying to rank for two or more websites instead of just one. Your efforts would be better focused on improving one website and making it the best it could possibly be, than splitting your time and money between two.
When It Makes Sense to Have Multiple Websites
There are a few specific instances when it may make sense to have multiple websites.
For example, if you do business worldwide, it may make sense to have a website that's targeted towards each individual country you service or sell to. This can give you more opportunities to reflect the local interests of each country, and it also makes it easier to comply with any laws and policies in that country (such as the EU's GDPR).
Additionally, having multiple websites can be beneficial if you offer products or services that are unrelated to your main website and cater to a completely different target audience. As you cater to a different market, it is highly likely that you will require a distinct website to effectively meet the needs of your diverse customer base. In this case, having only one website may limit your ability to effectively cover all aspects of your business.
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