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Multiple domains, one for each service of the business - best practice

10:06 pm on Feb 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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If I have a business that does 5 things is it ok to build 5 different websites , each with their own domain, and each with unique content, but all having the same address.

Say a local doctor.

site 1 - bostoncosmeticdoctor.com
site 2 - bostonfootdoctor.com
site 3 - bostonshoulderdoctor.com
etc etc

If i create all unique content for all sites I can not find in the google guidelines where it says this is bad. I see competitors doing this and dominating serps because their domains are service specific. I know I can do it on one site in different sections, but if all unique content is the 1 for each service an actual frowned upon practice by Google?


7:32 am on Feb 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I remember MC said that G prefers one big site over many small sites...

We do have a very content rich website about products and do also have single product pages (own domains and ofc the content is different but they are the same widgets we offer on the BIG site.

The single sites do not really perform well! We do not link exchange with those sites to avoid a penalty neither aren’t the sites simple doorway pages. The smaller sites are in a better position in the SERP´s when searched for the widget (all are exact match domains) but the traffic is much much lower than for the big site what does offer the widgets as well...
7:42 am on Feb 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Over recent years multi domain strategies have become resource hungry. EMD's will not rank alone without lots of support. IMO - unless there are exceptional circumstances, it's best to focus on real business enablement.

Ask yourself the question. If Google didn't rank my sites, would I have a business. That answered, focus on brand and sustainability not EMD's, another re spun unique content article that Google ignores and other SEO tricks.
7:59 am on Feb 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

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There is nothing bad with EMD´s as long the content on it is from high quality. EMD´s are also part of brand signals in my opinion! If you have a product you will want to have the domain name for the product, no?

I think the confusions about EMD´s started when G sorted the free.widget.blue.colour.to.download.com domains. I don’t think its an generaly G attack on "real exact match brand" domains!

In jaimes situation I would say its a negative EMD (in my opinion) as I can not see the attention of a brand behind. Looks more than a directory using keywords in the domain. I would not recommend that. I also agree with Whitey that promoting more domains is really really resource intensive and I duo if it pays off at the end!
12:22 pm on Feb 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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EMD's will not rank alone without lots of support

Not my experience, and not what I still see in the UK despite Google's update on EMDs. With even semi-decent content, in a small local market such as the one enquired about you have a huge advantage.

Just recently I changed one EMD on an OK term (.com) to another the client forgot they had on a better term (.co.uk)

Domain had never been used, just the existing and not very special links (now 301'd, not yet switched) to the old site together with the new domain sent it straight in at number one, where it's stayed since. It's not a competitive term by any means, but he trebled his traffic from the switch within a week.

Plenty of his competitors are also ranking very well with networks of EMDs and crappy/spun content.

I'm not advocating a network of sites, but I believe that unless you have a client who is going to work with you to get some great content together to get good links with, then EMDs and average links and OK content is quicker, easier and cheaper.
3:03 am on Feb 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Quality content is not enough to rank a website. You still need to link build the website to gain authority, so in this case you have 3 websites with EMD, it is hard to gain backlinks for these 3 websites. If you are also using social media for your website you need to create each website an account/profile page instead of getting all the traffic into 1 website.
3:53 am on Feb 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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EMD's will not rank alone without lots of support

This has not been my experience at all. I have no problem getting EMD domains to rank still. Yes... the days of buying an EMD, throwing up a 5 page WP affiliate site, and submitting to 10 free directories to get to #1 are over. But an EMD with quality content and a couple dozen quality links can still catapult to #1 even for competitive phrases. The key IMO is quality of links and content.

I find it just as easy to get quality links for EMD sites as any other types of domains. In fact, because they are more niche than a single site trying to rank for many things, EMD domains are often easier to acquire quality links.

The key to getting high quality links is having great content, a great resource of some type, and/or great tools... This makes building links exponentially easier. No authoritative, quality site is going to link to a low quality or even mediocre site. Doing so reflects badly on their site to their visitors.

If you're having problems building links for an EMD domain (or any domain for that matter), I would take a long, honest look at what you're offering on your site as far as content that would/should make another webmaster want to give you an editorial link. I bet that 99% of the time, having low quality or mediocre content that can be found on thousands of other sites on the web is what makes acquiring high quality, editorial links from authoritative sites hard.

If you have GREAT content and are still having issues then you're likely either going after the wrong kinds of placements or your phone script, email, or whatever you're using to contact other webmasters... is likely impersonal and could use some work.