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City Page


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11 replies to this topic

#1 bobmeetin

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 02:50 PM

For a small, local business, I set up both contact and services pages to include city name, major key phrase, etc. For the small city in question it makes page one for a city & key phrase search. However, I noticed that a less local competitor ranks number one for the entire metro region.

What they have done is set up a template page with locations page leading to each template city.

Locations -->
city #1
city #2
city #3
...

They have maybe 50+ individual city pages, all based upon an identical template. Of course each template page has the city name in abundance as well as some strategic key phrases. They even used the city name in the URL. Crafty...

On the template page they even make it sound like they are locally owned/operated and have an office out of that city, which they don't.

We need to compete and I can certainly do the same. Do I risk any negative impact, is this a spamming technique, if I do something similar, but not making it look like we have offices in every city?



#2 Jill

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 04:41 PM

It's kind of a spammy technique, but it seems to work pretty well for Google. So who knows, maybe they actually like it?

#3 qwerty

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 12:06 AM

I hate that technique. I always advise against it.

And yes, it does appear to work really well. I've been warning people for years that one of these days, that sort of censored.gif will be recognized by the engines as near duplicate, value-free censored.gif and the technique will stop working. That day is still not censored.gif here.

#4 bobmeetin

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 12:44 AM

Very deep in censored.gif meditation! Very very deep.

#5 Jill

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 08:21 AM

Yep, I'm totally with Qwerty on that.

It's one of those things Google does which makes SEOs who say to create pages great for people--look like fools.

On the otherhand, perhaps those pages are good for people? If someone gets to your oregon page and live in oregon then they got what they want...

#6 bobmeetin

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 12:49 PM

New twist - I started looking further into the main competitors site, page source for some of the city pages. Wow! Maybe it isn't spam but it definitely was done by someone of cunning philosophy

I see expected city name/state repitition in the:

page title
meta description
meta keywords (so what)
alt text for home page logo
alt text fro numerous images/links
breadcrumb

but also some "cufon" stuff, a custom font technique, all over the place in alt as:

<cufontext>Denver </cufontext>

This is a real competitive challenge!

#7 kieronhughes

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:13 AM

They are definitely being spammy in their approach, as mentioned above. Targetting so many different locations is a bit crazy, especially as it appears their on-page SEO includes spamming keywords in every possible location.

It is not a technique I would try to emulate - just work on your core location(s).

#8 qwerty

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:49 AM

QUOTE
alt text for home page logo

I think that may be a bad idea, even if you support the idea of the city/state page.

If they're making [city - state - keyword] the alt attribute of the logo on each of the city pages, and that logo is linking back to the home page, aren't they defeating the purpose of optimizing an internal page for [city - state - keyword] by pushing the home page's relevance for that phrase?

And by linking to the home page with all of these image links, each with a different alt attribute, aren't they hurting the home page's chance to rank for a single phrase that would normally be the alt attribute of the logo on every page?

For example, if the business is an electrician in Rhode Island, they probably want their home page to rank for [rhode island electrician] or some similar phrase. If the logo of their Providence, Woonsocket, and Newport pages all link back to the home page via an image with an alt attribute of "Rhode Island Electrician" I think that's better for the home page than if those linked images have different alt attributes: "Providence Rhode Island Electrician," "Woonsocket Rhode Island Electrician" and "Newport Rhode Island Electrician" respectively.

#9 BeGlobal

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 12:36 PM

I have a website that offers 6 different services, to 130 cities in LA . I am SURE I will get top page for all of the internal city pages, and since I serve there I am not deceiving my visitors or Google in any way.

I will create 20 different landing page text templates per service, and I will use these 20 templates for the different 130 cities, changing of course, the name of the city, zip codes, tags.

The page, once found by someone, will lead to an optimized page for that specific city, with my sales text and a contact form.

I don't think there is anything more adequate than that, even without SEO in mind, I would do that. Trying to optimize my LA page for all the cities would be very difficult, and my visitors won't get to the information they want to see. So creating the pages should be the next step. Is that something that would hurt my rankings somehow, someday?

Best,
Carlos.



#10 chrishirst

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 02:53 AM

There is a name for what you want to do: ...
















... It's called "mad-lib spam"

#11 BeGlobal

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 11:45 AM

I know, but...

Is there a better approach? Shall I lose the city keywords traffic just so I don't look spammy?... I don't see how getting to the "cities we serve" pages list would be of any use to my visitors, if I get visitors coming from the keyword "category + city" I am sure they will be better finding the landing page for that specific term.

Now, if making this is correct, and somehow acceptable, is a decision that doesn't make me 100% happy, but, is the way things are right now, that, or losing the traffic for the city keywords, or sending them to a page that will obviously not convert the way I would like it to.

Writing specific content for every city and every service is going to be very difficult. Shall I avoid adding too much content? what if I use the same small text for all the pages, changing the city name and zip codes only...?

I would really feel worse trying to come up with an original piece of text for each city, when there is no much to write about but the services, so, simple keyword driven- sales text ?

#12 chrishirst

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 02:31 PM

If you have REAL content for individual city documents put them on the site, if not aggregate the into one (or more) documents with what content you have.




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