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Some big companies have even created large networks of supportive sites in this way.
I have planned to create plain HTML sites with no cloaking or other techniques. These sites would be informative but I would promote my products in them and lead the visitors to my main site.
These sites will have freebies, coupons, links to my main site etc...
And I am planning to add a disclaimer message in the header and footer that these sites are 'owned' or 'sponsored' by my main site. eg; 'XYZ.com' is owned by 'example.com' is it neccessary or does is it have any downsides of adding it.
Note - These sites will be hosted in a different server from that of my primary site.
I have done this in a certain niche where I found subniches and it works quite well.
In my experience, this is especially helpful if the supporting sites have very descriptive domain names.
The benefit is twofold -- link leverage and you will catch people who may not be attracted to your main site but will be attracted by the descriptive domain name.