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The domain names listed in the title are just examples. Say I own cars.com and portlandcars.com but my car dealership only has a location in Portland. Should I use portlandcars.com because it has better SEO value for my area?

Also, can I use both? I’m guessing no. Currently I’m pointing both domains to the same directory so you get the same thing on both domains, ie:

cars.com/sales portlandcars.com/sales

I should just 301 redirect one domain to the other right? But which one?!

500 posts Keep Walking
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“portlandcars.com” makes more sense to me. Imagine that when someone wants to search for a great dealer in Portland (this is your target audience right?) so s/he might start searching using a primary keyword like “portland cars” or “portland cars dealer” and with this domain + good content + great SEO strategy, your website should be ranked at the top section better. It is also straight to the point and not difficult to remember.

“cars.com” could probably achieve the same good result in the end but it sounds too generic in this case.

If I own two domains, I would select “portlandcars.com” as a primary one and “cars.com” is just for redirecting to that domain (or reserved for any other project).

Just my 2 cents. :)

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Shame you dont own cars.com man you wouldnt need to ask the question, you would be retired.

Personally i would opt for the one that is most generic to my client base and or prospects.

For examplw, i have a great domain but for the tld .com.au and have just ditched and shifted the content off it to a global .com tld that isnt as content specific in name, but more memorable and global. But thats how i want to attract traffic.

In your case a geographic option may work better if that is where your business is, and where your client base is. If not opt for the higher ranking but less specific domain if that makes sense