Just a quicky. I run a WHM / cPanel account and one of my clients has a few microsites all linked to their main website - all of which are small and hosted on the same box so share the same underlying IP address.
With the microsites all pointing to the main site and the main site pointing back will this have a negative impact on SEO through Google?
The point of the microsites is to gain traffic using descriptive domain names and eventually feed this back to the main site as its a driving school so things like :
drivinglessonseastkilbride.co.uk links to onboardtraining.co.uk
drivinglessonscumbernauld.co.uk links to onboardtraining.co.uk
Just wondering what peoples thoughts are on it.
Rikki, you're not going to see a negative impact on SEO but at the same time I'm not sure how much benefit you'll get from this particular practice. Your theory is bulletproof but in reality it is going to take more work to pull off. See, the microsites are your real traffic engine here and I'm worried that with so many sites they're not going to be optimized well enough to make a big difference. Ultimately you're trying to secure some long tail key phrases for your main website, onboardtraining.co.uk. Given your structure, there are two ways to do this:
Exactly what you're doing. You will need to popularize the micro-sites and gain backlinks so that they can then link to your main site. This seems like it would be the more effective method because it's more complicated, but you're likely to not gain the type of popularity needed on each micro-site because they don't host enough unique content.
Forget about the micro-sites. Focus on your main website and build location specific pages on the website. Alk about the Cumbernauld office and the East Kilbride office on different pages, each with the address and phone number. Submit these location pages to Google Local and promote the main site as much as possible. If you optimize the main site with the same long tail keywords, you'll likely rank just as well or even better. The advantage here is that you're keeping all of your content in one place.
I've used both methods and found that the second method has worked overwhelmingly better for me. In either case, you're not going to negatively impact your rankings by having similar sites hosted on the same server. If that was the case, I could setup spammy sites that are similar to my competition on their shared servers by opening an account with the same hosting company to kill my competition.
Well, yours is a great strategy, provided you spend right amount of time on micro sites and the main site. Pointing the micro sites to the main site wouldn't cause any trouble as long as the micro sites are of relevant nature to the main site. Another aspect which you need to keep in mind is that the hosting of those micro sites should have a different IP than that of your main site.
I would say you have a good strategy but a outdated one, as many have tried it and have gained as well as lost. When we start discussing on this, probably you can understand the + and - in this strategy:
- When you have microsites that get traffic, how do you think visitors would be transferred to your main website? As you have clearly, mentioned, these are microsites and no 301 redirects employed.
- Moreover, even if you have great strategy to transfer visitors from one site to another, would you think they will be happy in purchasing something? When do you think you can get the best conversion rate? its when you provide the visitors what they are looking for, in this case its the content, design and further information as the visits are via SERP.
- Moreover having many and pointing them towards one single website and all are on the same IP, you are prone to getting hit by algorithms. As search engines easily understand that you are using a strategy, which is outdated, in this case.
- Anyways, you have got to do SEO for each domain to have it ranked first for the respective keywords, with a single Ip this is going to be difficult.
Perhaps, I would recommend you to work hardly on the main site for all those keywords and be on the safer side. Its obvious that its going to take some tiem to achieve this, but its worth the time.
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