Pointing multiple domain names to a single website means that the user is directed to your website even if they enter a different extension (for example .net or .org) in the browser. Website owners typically want this to happen in order to increase traffic to their website and to avoid losing customers who want to make a transaction or purchase but are confused about the correct extension of the website. Some owners even go to the extent of having multiple domain names pointing to their website include spelling variations and even spelling errors that people generally make while typing.
There are two ways of achieving this. In the first method, the website owner requests the web host to park the multiple domains and having them point to their website. The web host will then create domain names with as many extensions as the client requires and configure the system in a way that users who enter alternative extensions such as .net or .org are taken to the primary web page, i.e. the one with the .com extension. Visitors get to see exactly the same content that has been put up on the primary page even though they might have the .net address displayed on the browser.
This can give rise to some problems. One of these problems is known as content duplication. This means that when different visitors or clients tag their web page to different versions of your primary page, the potential for SEO ranking becomes significantly reduced. The visitors might be viewing the content of your primary page, but search engines would consider the traffic being directed at three separate websites instead of a single website. Consequently, the SEO ranking of your primary web page will be considerably lower than what it could potentially be.
To avoid this problem, you need to create a permanent redirection code known as the 301 code. If your website is hosted on an Apache server, you can change the configuration of the server by using a .htaccess file that contains the code for rewriting the possible variations of the domain name. Once the .htaccess file has been created, all you need to do is upload the file to your website, above the home page. Now you can test if the redirection works by entering alternative versions in the address bar and observing which page you are directed to. What this technique does is that it causes the search engine to recognize all different versions as coming from the same primary web page.
The second way of pointing alternative domain names to the primary domain is to make changes in the registrar level. Your web host will probably allow you to use the URL Forwarding or Redirecting feature simply by logging into the website of the domain registrar. You can choose the different versions that you want to redirect and select the forwarding or redirecting option. Then you need to enter the primary domain name and the system. You then have to choose between temporary (302) and permanent (301) redirection.