|Deep linking vs. Frontdoor Linking, Aliases vs. actual URLs|
Costs vs. Benefits in 2003
I'm sure this has been discussed quite a bit in the past, but I'm not sure where to look, and also the costs and benefits of most things in SEO change over time.
I am not an SEO specialist, but I've been asked to do SEO for my company. We write red and blue software (our dark horse), and our red software is currently divided into square software (the company's intendeed hot new product), round software (slowly aging cash cow), and pointy software (lagging along).
What would bring us more benefits and less loss: focussing inbound links on the frontdoor (listing say the square and round software and the "red" keyword), or on the product pages?
(We currently work without a set strategy here. FD is at 6 PR, product pages at 4 PR, most negotiated inbound links are aimed at product pages.)
What would bring us more benefits and less loss: inbound links pointing to aliases prod1name.company.com, p2n.company.com, p3n.company.com, etc. (for the viral marketing effect/user-friendliness effect), or www.company.com/p1n etc. (for the inbound link focussing effect)?
(We currently work without a set strategy here. Most negotiated links are at aliases.)
Thanks for your opinions and debate!
Come on, this question can't be THAT boring... :-)
From what I've read here, subdomains are counted seperately from the www domain, so they don't boost the main domain's PR like you would hope. Then again, PR is only PR, not results. If you can get to the same content through prod1.company.com as www.company.com/prod1 then Google may assess some kind of duplicate content penalty. That's been discussed here before.
What do you want visitors to see first? The company's front door or the products? That's a question for your marketing department & would dictate the links you request. Personally, I am a fan of deep linking, but I'm probably in the minority on that.
The decision to use or not to use subdomains should be based completely on what would be best for users. There was a time in the past when there were some definite benefits of using subdomains, but that has changed over the last few months.
Now, they are really no different than a separate domain. And from a linking/PR standpoint, the structure of the url doesn't matter.
Dwilson, I don't think that's right. I think that any page which links to your page counts for the same PR regardless of whether it's on the same domain, another domain, or a subdomain, so it doesn't matter.
I too am a fan of deep links. I think they're a good idea as they boost the PR of that specific subpage and you get the keyword bonus for the anchor text (if they use the right keywords to link to you). Plus the main page will also get PR benefit if the subpages link to it. So I favor deep links, but I can see reasons why you would want the customer to always land on your index, branding for instance.
No matter where the customer lands, though, it should always be immediately clear what the site is about and where they are in it, if at all possible.
Oh, BTW, welcome to ww Eris Discordia, cool handle. Hail Eris!
So the consensus seems to be that, unless marketing issues make deep linking bad, there's no reason not to do it. OK - our site is branded on every page, and most every part is accessible from every other part (through DHTML menus, I believe), so it seems I shouldn't worry about this.
What about the aliases? I seem to remember reading here that having links divided among www.company.com/p1n and p1n.company.com could dilute the advantage of incoming links. Is this true? Does it outweigh the benefit of an easy-to-remember, easy-to-update link? (Easy to update as in a site restructuring is less likely to break the aliased link than one reflecting the old site structure.)