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But now I have a competitor which ranks very well with that technique. He is still behind me, but rises. Would you suggest building some satellite-domains nowadays? How many should it be and how many content to you need?
But now I have a competitor which ranks very well with that technique
Are you sure that that your competitor is performing well because of this technique? Why have you picked this as the deciding factor?
Some years ago, it was a good idea to use one main-domain and build up some "satellite-domains" with content of the same subject as the main-domain whoch are linking to the main-domain.
A "good idea" or has it ever been a sensible method ought to be the question!
I started doing this more than 10 years ago however with a specific idea in mind and I still continue to do this BUT let me briefly explain why and how.
Why? Simply because my worldwide industry is so large that one site would be a nightmare to control but also because most international buyers want to "feel" they are dealng direct with "The Source" in that specific country!
Trust me about this, our direct e-mail enquires to .cn/de/es/in/it/tr/etc rather than .com more than qualifies this.
How? For example I use example.com as the core site with good quality generic information etc and links leading away from that site may be example.cn/de/es/in/it/tr/etc to provide more in-depth technical information plus DIRECT contact information.
All the satellite sites have direct navigation back to the example.com site and the .mobi site.
Do not expect to create satellite sites with duplicate information, they must be much more authoratative and relevant otherwise they will fail.
Do not not even attempt to "BS" potential experienced buyers, you will get caught out or not last very long in your industry!
A core site with satellites requires very good planning and a clear focus however for those with genuine reasons for doing so it is a much more manageable group of sites.
I would avoid that method. Google and others warn about it, and have done for several years.
They warn, but they don't do anything. In this recent update (for the UK at least) this technique is used by many of the sites that have jumped from obscurity to the top 3 for high-value keyphrases. Those of us that have held the top spots for 3+ years are furious obviously.
The number 2 spot for the most valued phrase only has backlinks (those showing on Google) from five doorway sites that they created pointing to their main site. How did that rank above sites like ours that have 9,000+ backlinks? And we're one of the smaller sites that have been pushed out!
Long term I can't see any problem with developing good quality sites with good content that amongst other things point to the main site. I have some of these created as a "resource for our customers" and I expect them to continue to work for years to come. I wouldn't dare do virtually identical keyword rich sites simply because one day the guys at Google will find a way to penalise you for it.