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Many Pages In A Single Domain Vs. Fewer Pages In Multiple Subdomains
Posted 30 September 2011 - 04:37 PM
Because of the diverse nature of our business & wide variations in our client base, we use subdomains (host headers, actually).
So we have www.ourdomain.com and aerospace.ourdomain.com and maintenance.ourdomain.com and nuclear.ourdomain.com... on and on like that.
There's a global navigation menu on all the pages that links to all the various subdomains, and considerable cross-linking between related areas. All the pages are indexed in Google, and some that we've really focused on optimizing are ranked 1, 2, or 3 in Google. Basically, I think we're doing okay, given the limited resources we have for SEO. I'm sure we could do better, but we could certainly do a lot worse ;-)
Recently, our director of marketing contracted with a company that generates short news articles relevant to specific industries and feeds them to the web sites of companies that pay them for the articles. She's hoping to increase our SEO by having fresh, keyword-rich content on the site.
I have 2 questions about specific recommendations from this company.
1. They want us to use URLs like www.ourdomain.com/industryNews/michael-jackson-doctor-trial-begins/ instead of www.ourdomain.com/industryNews/default.aspx?artID=8003254
What's the current wisdom on the usefulness of keywords in URLs like that? My guess is that it's not going to hurt, and it might help. But I want to make sure I'm not missing something, because it's going to be a bit of a PITA to implement.
2. Our account rep from this company is telling our marketing director that having multiple subdomains instead of using subdirectories for the various parts of our site is hurting our search engine rankings, because having lots of pages in a domain increases the ranking of all the pages. So a page with relevant, optimized content at the top level of a 50-page site would not rank as highly as the same page in a subdirectory within a 200-page site.
Does this make any sense?
Thanks for any light you can shine on these two issues.
Posted 01 October 2011 - 06:47 AM
Just because "they are there" does not actually give them value
and if you treat subdomains as if they were pages/folders of a monolithic site structure in your own navigation and general linking, ... ... ... so will search engines.
But ONLY IF you are starting from scratch, as the "friction loss" from a redirection of old URI to new URI probably negates any gain from the keyworded filename.
I hope you (or your company) isn't paying them in big numbers, because up to now their "advice" isn't worth a whole lot.
Posted 02 October 2011 - 12:03 PM
In our case, this is new content that's going to be added to the site, so we don't need to worry about messing up the ranking of existing pages.
But it's looking like it's going to be rather a big PITA, because these pages aren't generated by / stored in a CMS, so we'll have to roll our own URL rewriting and base it on info passed to us via their XML feed. And probably port the sites from where they currently live in IIS 6, ASP.NET 3.5, to an IIS 7.5 box, ASP.NET 4.0.
"But we do it in our blog!"
"Yes, well, in the blog, the person who adds each blog post specifies the URL - there's no need to parse the headlines programmatically to remove any the characters that shouldn't be in there - the human parses it, probably without even thinking much about it."
"But they say we need to do this!"
"They also say we should open links to other sites in new browser windows, so people won't leave our site and forget to come back."
And while they tout the use of "SEO-friendly" URLs, they say nothing about using the article headline for the page's title tag, or using the extract for the meta description tag. Both of which are more likely to carry weight with the search engines than the URL, correct?
I'm just not feeling the love here.
Thanks for giving me something I can take back in support of my "it's not going to be all that helpful" stance.
Posted 02 October 2011 - 01:06 PM
I'm also not even sure if it's worth doing the news articles in the first place. It sounds like you may be using a service such as Brafton, of which I'm not a huge fan.
What they end up doing is finding content others have written, then make up their own summary and never even link out to the original source (although they do often mention it). I personally find that kind of sleazy. So if you're using a service like that you may want to watch out for that sort of thing. If they just added attribution links, it wouldn't be so bad.
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