A passion for web development



Cpanel hosting and SEO deadly mistakes

 The reason I am telling you that because it is related to cpanel default configuration which you might have in your servers too. The following information is related to search engine deadly mistakes:

1- By default the new domain is promoted to /home/username/public_html/domainname . Here is the biggest mistake, the new sites you create shouldn't be placed in the web root of the account for the following reasons:
a- Search engine indexing for example will index the site for the account and will treat the new websites as sub folders of the main website
b- the above will create duplicate results.
c- For each addon domain you create the system creates a sub-domain. This is Triple contents counts.

2- Google sometimes index sites without owners permission and it is common practice by search engines to find the latest topics, however it doesn't normally find sites without links. So the triple contents count is unlikely by sub domains but it happened to me because I have invited the search engine to my main account website which then indexed the rest. This mistake cost me a pull back from the 8 place in the first page to the third page bottom in a matter of a ten days. I mention this because while developing a website on a subdomain we may sometimes add the sub domain on the path of the search engine without realising.

3- The fix is simple as follows:

a- Try to separate each account on its own parking space which will enable you to use the public_html solely for the parked domain.

b- If the above is not possible then you must use the redirect 301 method advised by google. This is in relation to cpanel. as follows:

Refuse the default place promoted by the addon and create a folder in the actual home directory of the user as /home/username/yourwebsitename

c- For the sub-domains created by the system, you have two methods, The first is to create a blackhole folder and redirect 301 the unwanted sub domains into it. The second method is to redirect the sub-domain using 301 to the domain that is already pointing to the same folder. Note pointing and rediction are two different things, here the system initially creates the domain and the subdomain associated with it in the same folder however if you have moved your domain somewhere then the sub-domain won't follow it unless it is redirection. Also As a main practice redirect the main account domain to the black-hole especially if you are willing to use the default public_HTML web root.


Quick notes:

1- Virtual hosts assign a default domain name normally it is the free domain purchased with the account and some allow you to assign yours while others give you a default some sub domain of their main account. The end result the main FQDN assign to your virtual host account in cpanel

2- Cpanel allows customers to host unlimited number of domains and sub domains

3- Addon domain differs to parked domain in a sense that parked domain takes the position of a main account in a given home folder while addon is an associated domain under the main account and it can be located anywhere within the user's home folder.

4- For each add-on domain a subdomain of the main account is created to associate it to the add on domain

5- If no redirection is enabled then the default is having more than 1 domain pointing to the same folder hence getting in trouble by search engines.

6- The scope of the problem could be 4 domains pointing to the same folder? how?

www and non www so 2 X 2

7- The problem is even bigger how?

a- Your main account is pointing for example to /home/user/public_html

b- Your add on domain is pointing to a sub folder of /home/user/public so the absolute path to the addon domain is /home/user/public_html/myaddon

c- Now we have two domains, pointing to the same folder, the first is your main account, for example mymainaccount.com/myaddon as well as myaddon.com

d- Because the system creates a sub-domain for each addon then we have the third FQDN comes to play, for example myaddon.mymainaccount.com = myaddon.com as far as cpanel is concerned however the search engine doesn't care about how cpanel organize its virtual hosting with unlimited addon.

e- Therefore now we have 3 domains pointing to the same folder which gives us the result 2 X 3 = 6 domains if we are to include www and non www. do you see how viral the problem!

8- The problem doesn't end here if you are using a content management system with aliases then watch out for duplication but it is a subject on its own right which I won't discuss in this article. Imgine how many urls with aliases can be generated for the same url, for example if we have 2 urls for each content then it could be 2 X 6 = 12, you could easily have 12 urls for the same content with out even realizing that! 


The solution I have suggested tells you to ignore the public_html folder but the disadvantages of going out side public_html folder is losing on raid functionality that you can see in the mirror folder www. Regular update can solve this problem or stick with the public_html and www folders but make sure you redirect the main account to the blackhole or find another solution such as telling the search engines to not index your main account and subdomain associated with it.

The best solution is one parked domain for each virtual host and ignore addon all together but this is not always possible especially if you don't have your own dedicated server.

01902 637 708