I have seen several folks in the forums touting the benefits of owning multiple sites.
* You can pass pagerank between them more effectively than if all your content was on a single site.
* You have the opportunity to rank multiple times for the same query.
* You can build similar pages with different wordings targeting search phrase synonyms.
* You spread your risk. Even if Google penalizes one site, they may not penalize all of them.
I have long had a single large site, but would be interested in experimenting with multiple sites. I'm hoping that some folks could jump in with advice and their experiences.
I'm assuming that for it to work well you have to hide the association between the sites from google:
* Use private domain name registration
* Don't link the sites together with the same adsense or analytics accounts
* Host the sites with separate hosting providers
* Have unique content for each site
* Don't interlink the sites heavily (or possibly at all at first)
On the unique content front, we have tons of unique user generated content. More than our main site can possibly display. We publish it all on the main site and put those pages in the site map, but Google only indexes a small fraction of the pages on our main site. If we were to start other sites, would syndicating content from the main site (especially content that is off the beaten path) be a bad move? Would this be a sign of a low quality site to Google (especially given the content farm update)? Or can we get away with actually finding an SEO purpose for this underutilized content?
Given the new content farm algorithm, should I even proceed? What are folks experiences with multiple related sites since content farm?
[edited by: tedster at 6:53 pm (utc) on Feb 28, 2011]
[edit reason] fix formatting problem [/edit]