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Here's my question: given the themes direction that many search engines are taking -- hubs and authorities, and all that -- do people here feel it's generally better to use several completely different domains, one domain with second level domains, or go for a deep subdirectory structure?
The organization owns about 50 relevant domain names, but they are only planning on using one of them right now, and I feel like that's a mistake. Since I'm involved in the earliest stages, I'd like to make sure we don't get off on the wrong foot, as much as possible.
It's a not-for-profit org, run mostly by volunteer staff. This means there is manpower to work the search engines pretty closely, but not dollars to buy big marketing. So good ranking is essential. They say I know more about SEs than anyone else involved (LOL) and I guess I do. But I feel far from knowledgeable -- at least half of what I know I learned here in the last few months, thanks to you all.
Would appreciate any observations relevant to this issue.
I have thousands of pages strewn across 30 domains. When taking an overview of placement across all SEs, as opposed to focusing on any particular one, I'd have to say that it has been the best approach.
I have another domain with 4000 pages and 50 third-level domains. That has been handy for filing with SEs that don't spider too deeply, but that's about all I can comment on because the site is (currently) framed AND dynamic --so it's not exactly a contender for any SEO awards in its present form.
>or go for a deep subdirectory structure
No, I'd recommend against that.