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This is examplified...
I decided to develope a site (or sites) targeting two local "counties". I want a central theme that is brandable and yet easily targeted specifically towards either of these counties, and any additional counties in case I decided to expand.
I have secured the 2 "county" specific domains and the "state" specific domain.
We'll say smallvillewidgets,bs and gothamwidgets,bs are the county specific domains and texaswidgets,bs is the state specifc domain.
Since the two sites will share the same "look and feel" and share the same database structure I planned to simply have a 1 page site for each of these domains that serves as a link directory to the county specific features on the main state specific site.
Specifically examplified- a visitor to smallvillewidgets,bs/index,html would actually be surfing to content at texaswidgets,bs/smallville/index,php which would allow me to have one shared database to house the info for both counties.
These "one pagers" would NOT be automatic redirects. The user would have to click on the links to get to specific pages on texaswidgets,bs.
I need the county specific (child) domains for marketing purposes (traditional advertising) and won't be marketing the state specific (parent) domain at all for now.
Since the "child" domains are basically splash pages leading to a specific folder in the "parent" domain, is this going to negatively impact my search engine placement? Would they all get penalized for interlinking? I could forsee this little network of sites expanding to at least 3 or 4 more "counties" if it works out as planned.
I know I could just keep each domain hosted seperately but I want to keep things simple and centralized if possible to prepare for easy future expansion.
Ouch! I think I may have strained my examplifier...must rest...
Do you have your sites layed out the way I described? Assuming your sites have been up a while, have you noticed any negative effect from the interlinking?
Basically I am trying to determine the best structure before I get too deep into the project. I considered promoting the main parent site and having the child sites as subdomains but I really think the branding advantage of having dedicated domains for each "county" would be worth it.
I realize these are essentially doorway pages which are generally frowned upon, but since their purpose is to better brand target and simplify access for the end user not to simply funnel PR I hope it would be acceptable. I suppose I could forego any links back from the parent site to the child sites effectively making them one way links...but that may actually appear more suspect...hmmm, what to do.
I have so many other projects to develop and maintain (in my opinion anyway) I need to start thinking of ways to streamline the workload.
The problem you're going to run into... is you won't be rewarded for it. The whole domain will share pretty much everything. If you had the parent site and the two children site with completely different roots (or better yet, completely different hosts, or better yet, completely different static ips), each site would be rewarded, and in essence you'd only have to have 1 doing decent to boost the other 2.
The other problem you'd have (assuming you give 2 cares about google) is the sandbox would destroy you, you'd need ATLEAST 2 years.
imho, of course.
Oh, and personal experience, took me 16 months to get out of the sandbox for my first new site since this problem has occurred. But only 8 months for my second. No, I'm not telling my secret ;)
Anyway, YMMV :)