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SEO Website Audit

Multiple Informational Sites

October 3, 2007
Dear Jill,

I have a question for you and I am hoping you might have some ideas for me.

I have a plastic surgeon client who specializes in many procedures and has
spent a fortune on developing a very nice site that has been done in Flash.
In efforts to get him some traffic, we are doing a double campaign, one with
pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and one using SEO tactics.

I want to build completely separate sites, complete with their own domains
and content that is relevant for a particular procedure (tummy tuck as an
example). These secondary sites would be like Wikipedia in nature, and very
informative to the end user about a specific procedure, with obvious links
back to my client's main site.

I do not want to create a "link farm" or "doorway" sites.

I am wondering if you think search engines will frown on this process.
Again, each site will be unique with its own valuable content and domain and
will certainly stand alone as a resource site for a particular medical

Your thoughts??


++Jill's Response++

Hi John,

I can't say I'd recommend what you suggest doing. It's very difficult to
imagine someone putting together individual sites like that if there were no
such thing as search engines.  What sort of information regarding a tummy
tuck would you have that could justify its own site?

That said, one great, comprehensive site regarding all the various
procedures could certainly be valuable to people considering plastic
surgery. (Although I imagine it's been done before.)  

If it were my client, I'd probably recommend adding the content to the
existing website.  It could be a separate section of the site or even a
subdomain, but it would likely be more helpful to the plastic surgeon if the
content were a part of his site.  It would serve dual purposes this way,
i.e., enhance the credibility of the surgeon as well as provide great
information to the general public.  These types of sites have done very well
in the past.  In fact, your surgeon may find that he starts to get a lot of
inquiries from people outside of his geographical region.  If/when that
happens, it would be a good referral network of trusted surgeons in other
states.  I believe that's very common among professionals such as doctors
and attorneys.

I know this isn't really what you wanted to hear, but unfortunately, I don't
think there's a good way to do what you want to do without it eventually
being seen as exactly what it is -- a way to direct people to the main site.
Any way that you slice it, it still makes those new sites seem like doorway
domains. It's not necessarily search engine spam, but there's a good chance
the search engines might see it that way.  (Not to mention that the upkeep
for so many sites would be a logistical nightmare!)

Hope it helps!