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Multiple Different Websites Or One Combined


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#1 ceacer

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 09:00 AM

Hi
 
I am new to the forum but have a few questions where I could use some help. 
 
I would like to create a website that is individual for each state. Say I want to write about bistros in the USA. I could create a website for each state. E.i.  BistroInNewJersey.com and so on or I would create one site called  BistroInUSA.com and have a link to each state. This is just an example but to show what I mean. Of course the content is going to be different for each state but it will be same setup for the sites. I want to do a lot of description about the state, "bistros", "food" etc so it will take up some space. My concern is therefore that one site will not be a good fit and also it seems better to have the URL state the specific state. 
 
My questions:
 
1. Is it better to do subdomains on one website or to create several websites for each state when you consider SEO?
2. If I do several sites (I know it is a lot of work) what is the best way to link them together SEO wise? (are there any litterature)
3. Are there any SEO pitfalls I should try to avoid with a setup like this (no matter what I choose)
4. Any good advise?
 
I am not that experienced so please bear with me. I do have some knowledge though but have not build a site from scratch before so it will be a long process and if I will add states continously. (will focus on a few to start with)
 
Thank you!


#2 Jill

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 09:03 AM

 Is it better to do subdomains on one website 

 

 

 

 

Yes. Definitely. You do not want lots of different sites. 



#3 ceacer

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 09:21 AM

 

 

Yes. Definitely. You do not want lots of different sites. 

 

Can you elaborate on this? I mean there will be a lot of information, reviews, blogs, news, advertisements, etc etc so many pages for each state. Wouldn't that get more confusing for the visitors? Also will it not make it more difficult SEO wise? E.g. If I want to focus on "bistros" in a few states I will have to do SEO more wide than for people searching for the product in a specific state where I can then target each site for the specific state?



#4 Jill

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 09:24 AM

Answers to all your questions are no. It will make more sense for people and search engines to have one united site with different sections for each state.

 

There's nothing more to elaborate on, IMO.



#5 ceacer

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 09:35 AM

Okay. Would you then suggest that I use subdomains or subdirectories? As I understand subdirectories are better for SEO because they use the page rang etc from the main site but here I want to really focus on key words from the different states which is why I think subdomains are better. Would you agree?

 

I am also interested if other people have an opinion on the subject whether they agree or disagree. 



#6 Jill

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 10:29 AM

Neither are better for SEO. In this case, I'd think about subdomains as you're making each one it's own little site. But really, you can do it either way, it's all the same to the search engines. 



#7 bobmeetin

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 11:12 AM

I think there are some other posts which compare/contrast subdirectories and subfolders.  My preference is for subfolders as IMHO there would be less administration. It's pretty easy with a CMS (Joomla, probably Drupal, Wordpress, etc). All you need to do is create a database for each, subfolder for each and install. I used to do this on a demo site.

 

One consideration, especially with the CMS is inodes limit. Inodes, for practical purposes are files.  An install of a CMS can have many thousands of files, tens of thousands. With 50 sites that number adds up. Hosting services, unless you're doing your own hosting or possibly running with a dedicated server, have limits.  It might be half a million, whatever.  I've infringed on that limit a couple times myself.



#8 ceacer

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 11:13 AM

Okay thank you. I think I will go with subdomains then. Are there any rules as to how much you can link to the main page or other subdomains. I can see subdomain links are now internal links but how are these seem in terms of SEO?



#9 qwerty

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 11:29 AM

The rules for linking from subdomain to subdomain are the same as the rules for linking from subdirectory to subdirectory. Do what makes sense for users: make sure they can get everywhere they want to go without having to click too many times, but don't create a menu containing so many links that every page is just one click away, but there are so many choices everyone gets confused.

 

There are lots of people out there who will tell you that search engines treat subdomains differently. Ask them for some proof and they'll likely tell you they don't have to provide proof, because everyone knows it's true. It's not. What matters is how you set up your information architecture.


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#10 Jill

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 11:41 AM

Okay thank you. I think I will go with subdomains then. Are there any rules as to how much you can link to the main page or other subdomains. I can see subdomain links are now internal links but how are these seem in terms of SEO?

 

You are much too focused on what you believe may be SEO issues. Don't let SEO influence creating the best experience for your users. That's all Google wants...the best sites for THEIR users, the searchers.



#11 bobmeetin

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 11:54 AM

Jill is right, however that being said, you might check with your provider first to check/see whether inodes is also a similar situation with subdomains before you decide either way. The more I think about this, subdomains probably all fall under the same umbrella as well. But do check.

 

Easy navigation and minimal hops are key but too many choices as qwerty said is aggravating. Perhaps a site map with the different states is enough, I don't know. When I visit sports sites I'm overwhelmed by the amount of stuff clouding the picture as everything seems to be deemed a Must to reach every visitor without pleasing any.






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