my first post is because I'm looking for advice on an issue, i love the process of SEO so i hope to become a useful member on here.
Im a front end developer from Leeds UK and a partner in a small studio. I've been given a dreadfully written html site to finish for a guy who sells car audio. I shouldn't have taken it on but they repaired my car alarm recently so decided to try and help after getting friendly with the boss who asked what i did. Firstly our quote for a complete custom .ASP site frightened him off, and he wanted to continue with this half built site which was built using DreamWeaver Templates. Its a mess to work on and he has no way to control the products, of which there are many.
The main site displays the products they fit like car alarms and vehicle tracking, cameras and AV. It was built by an amateur and is not up to scratch for his needs, however the guy who built it has walked away and left him a £1000 down and a site to finish. So i stepped in regretfully in the hope of convincing him to let use build him a bespoke .ASP site which would control his whole online business and would have made him a lot of money, were he prepared to commit to it. Luckily my partner is a Software Developer so there isn't much we can't do when it comes to bespoke eCommerce and CMS. Once we had him on board we could work out a SEO solution to suit to the new site, I didn't convince him and I think he feels he has to justify launching the site he's paid a £1000 already for.
On the site they have currently there is a shop that has been built in osCommerce which sells car speakers and amps etc, which isn't anything like the main site i've taken on in structure - i.e: menus, footer, header etc. It has been built into a subdomain years ago. So the main site is www.example.co.uk, and the current shop is accessed at shop.example.co.uk.
Im wanting to explain the reason why he shouldn't be having two different URLs and why he should have gone with our solution to have one database driven site holding all his products rather than two. I need to explain the reasons why I can't do any SEO on either site as he really isn't seeing it through a developers eyes and appears awkward to deal with professionally. I want to walk away.
Now before i meet him i just want to make sure I'm correct in my logic and understanding about my reasoning to refuse to do the SEO.
In terms of SEO, Google used to look at it as 2 separate URLs, but recently allowed subdomains to have some link juice from the normal domain. However because his site is different shops effectively, one in osCommerce, one in plain html, Google would still see it as two separate addresses as the only way to link them is one menu item on the home page that says shop, you click it to go from www.example.co.uk to shop.example.co.uk. That surely isn't enough to make Google think they are the same site?
If you created a back link to a product in the shop, the URL is going to be shop.example.co.uk/product1.php or whatever, and a backlink to a page on the main site is going to be www.example.co.uk/page1.html.
Am i correct in my logic, will it require twice as much SEO because the site structure is different? Ive checked both URLs via a few SEO checks, and both seem to have different amount of back links already, although a ridiculously low 27 linking domains for a site he's had live for over 12 years is comical. He's never done any SEO on it so he's never experienced a proper amount of traffic, I think he's a fool because I've researched his niche and he could make a fortune if done correctly over a number of years.
Will changing the site thats up at the moment with the one I've helped build which is completely different in structure put the domain in a Sandbox on Google? Ive a feeling what is doing is going to set him back months in terms of ranking the site properly. I don't see how 301 redirect can help here??
I hope someone can offer a some advice so I'm clear in my mind as to the reasons i have to walk away unless its a full rebuild, I've only recently added SEO to my workflow having been a web designer for 12 years.
Edited by WebMakr, 25 November 2011 - 03:59 PM.