GoDaddy Domain Forwarding

Posted by joy


More than a few of my readers have the following scenario. They have a blog hosted on one of the big providers like Typepad or Wordpress.com and they want to redirect a custom domain name to the blog. So, if you type http://cutedomainname.com it will redirect to http://cutedomainname.bigblogprovider.com.

What I am hearing on the street is that the home of famously cheap marketing tactics and the scourge of thousands of parked domains GoDaddy provides domain name forwarding. However, from what I could find online, GoDaddy only provides a 302 temporary redirect for the domain forwarding, not a 301 permanent redirect.

302 Redirected URLs could possibly be subjected to a domain hijacking and but for most people, the bigger issue is that Google doesn’t trust a temporary 302 redirect as much as a 301, which is why real SEOs use 301.


4 Responses to “GoDaddy Domain Forwarding”

  1. fluffy Says:

    But 302 is the correct semantics in this situation. A 301 says that this redirect will never, ever change. It’s like the difference between 404 (not found, maybe the item will come back) and 410 (ABSOLUTELY GONE WE MEAN IT). Meaning, of course, that if you use a 301 redirect at the domain level, it means that you can’t change the target of the redirect (say, to cutedomainname.typepad.com) and expect it to work for quite some time for people who have decently-large caches or are behind caching proxies or whatever.

    Also 301’s spec states that “clients with link editing capabilities ought to automatically re-link references to the Request-URI to one or more of the new references returned by the server, where possible,” meaning that if the client is, say, the backend to a social bookmarking site, it should store a bookmark to the target of the redirect, which further dilutes the purpose behind a redirected domain.

    Finally, how could a 302 be subject to domain hijacking any moreso than 301? The real difference between 301 and 302 is that 301 is supposed to be cached while 302 isn’t. If your 301-redirected domain expires and a squatter grabs it, your site will still be hijacked, it’ll just take longer for regular readers to know it. At a protocol level the only difference between a 301 and a 302 is the number that’s sent back to the client, and maybe some of the other headers (e.g. for cache control, since 301 implies “cache” and 302 implies “don’t cache”).

    A better way to deal with SEO issues is to get real hosting and not have your domain set up as a redirect to begin with. Dreamhost is cheap.

  2. Nathan Hughes Says:

    Thanks for the update! But…does that mean I’m just stuck with a 302 redirect, then? Are there any work-arounds?

  3. joy Says:

    Fluffy, while you’re technically correct about a 302 being used in a temporary situation, I am not trying to parse meaning here.

    First, an some background on 302s from Matt Cutts. An interesting note, Google will index the *original* destination if the site has a 302 redirect (i.e. index http://cutedomainname.bloghostingservice.com)

    Next, a very recent example of 302 hijacking.

    If you want to read up on the 301 vs. 302 debate, here’s a WebMasterWorld thread that goes round and round about that. The verdict. 301s are best, 302s are workable if you don’t want to transfer PageRank.

    Nathan, having read all that, you’re stuck with a 302 if you use Go Daddy.

  4. fluffy Says:

    I’d read that webmasterworld link except it’s subscription-only. I’m interested to know how a 302 could be any less secure than a 301 but I’d prefer a link which doesn’t cost me money to read.

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