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Create multiple sites that are informational only and contain unique (not duplicated) information for consumers which ultimately points to the transactional e-commerce site.
So, here's the questions:
Any input is appreciated.
If your ecom site ranks well in Google (has evaded the sandbox) you're better off adding your new content to the site itself. It can only improve your SEO, and will increase the "stickiness" of your site as well.
Some businesses, especially corporate or other sites have a hard time getting links for whatever reason. So building proxy sites for recips, etc. can be a good strategy for getting over that, imo.
>>>Do the mini sites have to be hosted on static IPs (my research says no)?
I would say yes.
>>>Should the mini-sites be interlinked?
I would say no. Absolutely do NOT interlink. Furthermore, keep their backlinks, ip addresses, website template, content, everything as different as you can possibly make it.
>>>I plan on buying inbound links and using directory listings to get the initial listings for the mini-sites.
Sounds like a good initial strategy.
>>>What risk is there to the main site?
I don't see a problem if all the sites are not interlinked, and they link to the main site, but not vice-versa.
The new sites may be sandboxed for around three months (I've never seen any of my sites sandboxed for longer than that. I think some people don't notice their sites have popped out, or are attributing bad ranking to the sandbox).
We do have an alternative: we could start new e-com sites. The benefit there is that we could also advertise them and try to lock up the ad space as well.
Any votes on which is a superior strategy for claiming maximum market share? Site network funneling traffic versus separate e-commerce sites.
What about separate Class-C's?
I think MB was addressing this too but left it out of the quote, and the answer is a resounding yes.
What MB said under the interlinking quote was dead on, and add to that change whois completely.
Also, don't visit these sites 800 times a day on computers with the google TB installed. Get them built and maintained like a satellite office. Don't touch 'em from where you do the normal stuff.
additionally, if the content is strong...look to get the site listed by sites which are looking for that information. after the initial link development is completed you'll find the strength of the content will begin doing the link building for you.
Yes we get trickle traffic from them, but it will take a year or more to get them into the top ten results of Google for our primary keywords.
But what do you do when you are already holding two of the top four positions in all your keywords? We are fighting it out with a tough competitor for 1-2 vs. 2-3, but weaker competitors are in the remainder of the spots.
We've had good luck bootstrapping ourselves into top 10 positions on our keywords with a little attention, some old fashioned keyword stuffing and inbound links. In most cases, the best results haven't been from content, but from template pages. We could scrape together another site with rewritten templates fairly easily, then just buy the inbounds to create importance.
In an industry with multiple keywords with serps dominated by template pages, isn't diversifying into multiple sites or mini sites the best strategy? Our best hand-written content doesn't come close to the serp results of our templates.
Obviously, our ideal situation would be to have all the top organic and paid listings in all our keywords. We see no karmic gain in having competition.
With only one domain, we can really only hope to have two listings in the top ten for any term, and only one ad. By branching out into multiple domains, and multiple sites, we can hope to occupy more of those top ten positions. On a given term you can't be better than number one, except to be one through ten.
The question is, should we have informational sites that funnel traffic to our transactional e-commerce site, or build new e-commerce sites that "compete" against the main site? Either option is cheaper than buying competitors.
Your new sites will be sandboxed (not 3 mos, more like a year) making them essentially useless from a Google point of view. That's a bad investment.
But more important, you'll invest time and $$ far beyond creating the sites: you'll keep trying to beat the sandbox; then you'll start the battle to win good positioning; and if you get it, then you'll fight to keep it. And even then, you're never more than one Florida update from everything going crazy.
Your focus will most likely suffer, and your main site might begin to slip.
In the end, you'll look back and see how much of this investment should have been given to the real core business site. And how your competitors -who did not take this path- have improved their sites, and now, are much more dangerous. And they, remember, will only have one site to concentrate on: your expertise will be thinned out over several. Doers that sound like a smart business plan?
However, I also think there are many fringe benefits along with the potential of accomplishing your ultimate goal which would be do dominate the top 10's.
- You can test different optimization techniques with less risk.
- Trying enough different things you may find ways out of the 'box, around filters, etc.
- A year? I'm in this biz for a long time, not just a year. If you're not preparing things now for a year and beyond I'm not sure what you're doing. Oh, working on the main domain? Have you seen the google update thread that's about to double google's index once it gets cached (humor)? Lots of cases of white hat, authority sites dropping hugely and sandboxed sites coming out. I'd sure be glad I diversified if I was some of them.
- It's all about your resources. In fact if they're plentiful, why not buy a handful of sites that are on-topic(enough) and not sandboxed?
We've tried to buy non-competing sites that are on-topic. Unfortunately, ours is a small niche populated with dedicated hobbyists and enthusiasts. Those who do produce sites are already into affiliate programs and are so passionate about what they do that they are unwilling to sell.
To me, the cost to build and host a new site is tiny compared to the cost of an affiliate. Affiliates in our industry that dedicate themselves earn $40 - $100K annually. For that I could host a half a dozen sites and have a dedicated webmaster making the tweaks necessary to have the content "unique" enough for Google to be happier.
Is it your business? If so, and with the rankings you AND your top competitor have, you're going to get the traffic.
Short of doing this to boost your own ego, you're wasting your time. Even if you could acquire the first ten spots, you won't keep them forever.
Put that energy into building your business, and giving the customer a reason to buy from YOU instead of that other company.
What's saying about not seeing the forest for the trees?