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Network sites VS. Main sites

7:16 am on Nov 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 21, 2003
votes: 0


I'm now having a problem which needs some good advice from you guys. I'm currently working with a company which has a hugh website and now they wants to launch a lot of small websites (around 100) which we call 'Network Sites'.

They all have different IP address and unique domain name for each one. The purpose of launching these network sites is because they want to targeted on each keyword, so each sites will be targeted on each unique keyword...ie. one for Blue Widges, one for Red Widges, one for Yellow Widges...and so on.

And my problem is finding the proper way of linking across each network site and also link back to the main website as well. I've heard that linking across within network sites could be penalized from Google, and I saw some example too but they use Sub-Domain (http://blue-widgets.widgets.com) instead of normal domain.

Since these websites has unique IP and domain name so...will this case be exceptional?

Please give me some advise of how to link properly among those sites and also give the links back to Main Sites as well because I'm now don't have any clue of how to start.

Thank you in advance guys


9:20 pm on Nov 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 20, 2002
votes: 0

I ran into a similar problem when I first started with the company I am with now. At the time we were not considering how it effected the search engines, rather we split into a "Network" of sites for the end users. We found people liked niche sites better. You move through it faster, and find what you want faster.

Over the past year we have made vast improvements in how we do this and taking SE's into consideration. The best way we found so far was the following:

1) Each site has it's own distinctive link page featuring links with descriptions for sites that are relevant to the content of that particular site. However, we list our sites - and clear state such - at the top of the list in a special section.

2) We never offer products by themselves on multiple sites. We do offer different bundling options from site to site. But, this is only done if for some reason a certain product can fit both categories.

3) On the main site for the company have links to various categories of products we sell. If that category was large enough that we made another site just for it we give an explanation that that category has it's own site and why. Then we offer a small site map of the other site just below.

So far this has worked well and we have not been penalized. Most importantly the users seem to really like it. They can shop more easily in a specialized site than in an extremely large site.

Now as far as getting better SE placement out of this system. I don't think it makes a big difference though. You probably do gain a point or two for having a keyword specific domain, but that is about it.

It is easier to "theme" a niche site and you can offer a more personalized experiance relative to that product category. But, you do run into maintaince problems and you spread your inbound links out. Instead of having 100 inbound links to one site, you would have 100 links spread say 10 sites. The fight for links can be a little more important with niche sites.