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Why You Should Avoid Domain Masking

If you’re thinking of masking your site’s domain name, which involves making another name appear in the browser’s URL address field – don’t. Masking domain names is never recommended for a number of reasons, especially if you want the page to be optimized for search engines.

With domain masking, search engines will detect two different domains having duplicate content, which is bad in the sense that it results in only one URL being indexed, and it just might not be the domain that you want. If this happens, then it’s a serious disadvantage.

Another reason why you shouldn’t use domain masking is that bookmarking doesn’t work properly on a masked page. Any visitor who attempts to bookmark a masked page will end up bookmarking the homepage or the original domain name instead, and not the URL showing up in the browser address field. Since visitors usually like to have some form of control when browsing a site, this inability to bookmark a specific page gets minus points in terms of usability.

So what’s a better alternative to domain masking? One solution is to forward your domains by using the 301 redirect method. A 301 redirect is interpreted by a web browser as a domain that has moved permanently to another address, and is done by editing your .htaccess page, or by asking your web administrator to do so if you don’t have direct access to your .htaccess page.

This forwarding method works well if you have several domain names that you can use for different purposes, like marketing campaigns. Furthermore, a 301 redirect tells the search engines to retain links to the original URL, and preserves search engine rankings for that specific page. Overall, it’s the most efficient and SEO-friendly option for page redirection.

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