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Multiple Domain Name Advice Needed [Spilt Topic]


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#1 AvyGuttman

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 09:07 AM

Ooh, sounds delish, and not a whole lot of work. (Two of my favorite things in a food.) I'll have to give that one a try. :eat:

 

--Torka :oldfogey:

@Torka - I dont seem to be able to ask any questions. You have been so helpful in all of your responses and not to mention recipes  I was hoping I could ask you something and get your advice or anyone willing to add to this. I would especially apprecate, any one else who may wish to add as well if any of you have the time....here goes:

 

I am working on one site that I will refer to as the primary site or the website and it has so many issues and wondering what it is I should do...I will list them here

 

1) The company is an air purification manufacturer with an office in montreal and they sell internationally mostly in the US, Europe and Asia. They have been in business 20 years and the website is just about that age as well. They have a good brand. The woner is 82 years old and is not, shall we say, up to par with current marketing trends etc..

 

2) I redesigned the website with an ecommerce cms called shopify (not live yet) and it now has a shopping cart whereas before they did not have one. Many dealers sell their products including amazon etc..

 

3) They have for about 5 years now, a blog on blogger.com that generated 8,000 views just last month alone but this is made up of content that is taken from press releases. No journalistic approach has been taken to add value but the source is always mentioned. These link to the website...(as with many of their inbound links) they are often the exact same anchor text (company name) to their website's homepage. 

 

4) The owner has bought over 300 domains with keyord rich titles with what he may have thought were vakuable key "names" and "events" he felt would make sense in owning the domain name. I think he hoped to "corner the market" by buying up all potential domains so as to remove them from the competition...ridiculous...it took me a full day but I tracked down every registrar and host of these domains and shut each and every one down. Most of these sites were dormant and a bunch looked exactly the same and had 6 pages of thin content...picture focus pages...these had 1 link, an external one to the primary website in question. Obviously they are all registered to the same company, I felt it looked overly spammy and is an utter waste of money and again, just ridiculous. This issue is resolved but I mention it to set the tone for the ideology of the company's mindset in digital marketing

 

3) The company had hired an "seo" and his tactics were shoddy at best and the site had been penalised in the past...about 5 years ago. I think they may have been de-indexed. They have since recovered but I am certain they have "red flags" abound and deservedly so. No one at this company seems to understand search marketing and the "seo" took them for a ride.

 

4) The primary website did not 301 the www and non www versions. I have setup webmaster tools and chose the www version as the canonical version just last week.

 

5) There was a .net version in the past that was identical to their .com version and it ran simultaneously and must have caused them problems because

they 301 redirected the .net version to the .com version a few years ago. This was performed by their server/host service company and I fear it wasnt done perfectly but I will speak with them in a few days to find out more. 

 

6) The websites inbound external links number to just over 3,000..however ALL (I have gone through each) are low quality, spammy or directory sites, forums etc.. that I would love to just disavow. After attemtping to contact several to remove said links, I realised that this is a monumental task and would not be surprised if none ever reply or do anything but I want to follow the google guidelines and not just dump a whole bunch of pages/domains to be disavowed. I would of course add a #comment and explanation for each. Removing their "satelite domains" that I mentioned above in 2) will remove a good chunk. Otherwise the links from their blog makes for a fair chunk but I assume they are automatically "no followed" from blogger.

 

7) I will list the crawl errors which are eating up much of their indexation. I want to fix up all the errors before allowing the newly redesigned site to go live. It may indeed make more sense to  just start fresh on a new domain but the owner is adamant about keeping his domain name and it does have some value seeing as it has been around for 20 years despite all else mentioned.

 

My goal is to add value, good content, become an authority online in time. Long term and effort, good content... Everything they have done has been short term and disastrous. I want to assure them a bright future. Can you help with some suggestions on what it is I can do in order to achieve this aside from the obvious decision to look at the long term growth and authority and trust as a goal rather than quick tricks that clearly they have learned do not work. Thank you so much to anyone for the time and effort taken to read and reply to this.

 

 

crawl errors :

549 Duplicate page content

 

268 4XX client errors

 

12 missing titles or empty

 

539 Duplicate page titles

 

368 Pages where the title element is too long

 

38 missing meta descriptions

 

Nothing is blocked robots.txt

 

Edited by AvyGuttman, 11 July 2015 - 10:03 AM.


#2 AvyGuttman

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 09:38 AM

just to add one more thing. The owner changed the title on his homepage to "cheapest air filters" or something to that effect and the page has nothing to do with the title nor is there any empirical evidence to justify this on that page just before I arrived and was confused why they dropped in ranking immediately following this ludicrous choice. I have since explained why and he has given me complete control over the decision making for their website. I worry constantly about their past and want to clean it all up properly and show users and search engines (with the excellent writers we have on staff) that we can provide solutions and useful info and are indeed an authority and will earn links and mentions etc the natural way.

 

Cleaning up the site to me feels like it can take forever but I am hoping there is a strategy that will work and not take forever. The new website needs all of this to be cleaned before it can begin the road to quality. Again, I am given one specific directive and that is to keep their domain the same. There are indeed pages with value and traffic but their inbound external links are just terrible. I lose sleep that the past will haunt the new website unless it is properly fixed but was wondering if it is even truly worthwhile or makes more sense to put the newly redesigned site on a fresh domain. I do not mind the work, patience and effort, I just want to make sure I do this properly and it all makes sense. Thanks again so much to all who take the time to help out


Edited by AvyGuttman, 11 July 2015 - 09:40 AM.


#3 Jill

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 10:59 AM

It sounds like you have a great handle on everything that needs to be done. I would simply focus on cleaning it all up as you've outlined and then, if necessary, figure out a new online marketing plan moving forward.



#4 torka

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 10:01 AM

I wouldn't worry about starting with a new domain. You might be surprised by how quickly stuff can rebound when you start clearing up all the crap that's standing in the way.

 

Having done several complete web redesign projects for my company as a one-woman department, I think the key is to break the project down into chunks. If you try to do everything at once, you're going to get overwhelmed. Prioritize. Figure out where you'll get the biggest bang for your buck, where you can most likely show results faster. As the company owners see progress, they're more likely to relax and stay out of your way. Which makes it easier to get done what needs to be done. :)

 

If it were me, I would focus first on cleaning up the site; let the link situation take a back seat until the site itself is in shape. There's no point in trying to get good links pointing to a crappy site. Get the technical side of the site whipped into shape, then tackle the content, and finally the external links.

 

You already have a good handle on the technical issues.

 

For content, you might want to Google "conversion optimization" and see what comes up. There are a bunch of people working in that area (Brian Massey, the gang at Marketing Experiments, the Psychotactics crew, etc.). Spending a little time reading the results of their testing can be very helpful.

 

One thing you can do right away (even before you rewrite/revise anything) is to make sure every page has a clear, prominent call to action. That's something that a surprising number of pages overlook, and it's absolutely essential. You should never assume that visitors will "naturally" do what you want them to, or that they'll somehow figure out what they should do next. That alone could make a visible difference in your conversions.

 

So, you save the links for last, But in the meantime, if you don't already, you might want to consider subscribing to Eric Ward's Link Moses newsletter. That will give you some ideas of techniques you can use to attract a few legitimate links pointing to the site when you (and the site) are ready.

 

I'd focus more on trying to get a few valuable links as opposed to getting rid of the "bad" links you see now. Most sites have at least some "questionable" links these days, whether through poorly-thought-out "SEO" efforts in the past or from a misguided competitor attempting "negative SEO." Fortunately, most times you don't need tons of genuine high-quality links to offset even a metric crapload of spammy ones. Once you've got the site cleaned up and you've managed to earn a handful of decent links, you may find out you don't even need to spend time disavowing or requesting removal of anything.

 

The other thing is, if they ask you how long something will take, figure your best estimate. Then double it. Add another 20% padding for contingencies, and tell them that's the minimum it will take. These things almost always take longer than you think. Usually a lot longer. And if by calling up some deep magic a task takes less time than you estimated, you can take all the credit for being a miracle-worker. :poof:

 

Hope this is helpful.

 

--Torka :oldfogey:


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#5 AvyGuttman

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 11:54 AM

@Torka,

 

thanks for all the advice. I was thinking of leaving the external links for last. 

Just want to see if Im on the right track with something...

 

Example...the current site has duplicates, I 301 redirect, lets say

the two duplicates and form a canonical to the new site and a page that

is similar. For those pages missing titles or that contain duplicate titles

can I just 301 to new pages without rewriting any titles since they 

will be matched uo with new pages and 404 the rest to a 404 page that

can offer a way back into the new website?

 

Also, much of the duplicates are coming from www version and non www versions. I have

already made the www the canonical one with GWT, should I still gather up each duplicate and

consolidate them to their respective new pages or 404 pages?

 

I may have asked before but is there a strategy as to how to bring over the traffic

from a blog on a 3rd prty platform ie. Blogger. I guess I can just post links in the 

next postings that direct users to a page on the newly designed site.



#6 torka

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 08:09 AM

When you do a 301 redirect, the redirected page disappears, so there's no need to do anything with it. Just make sure the target (the page the 301 points to) is in good shape.

 

Canonicals are a slightly different issue. In that case, both of the pages continue to exist and can be visited by humans, so from a user-friendliness standpoint, you'd want to update both pages so they're pulling their weight in terms of conversions. All you're doing with a canonical directive is telling the search engines which of the "duplicate" pages you prefer to be indexed. (I put "duplicate" in quotes because sometimes it's not really a physical duplication; many times it's a "virtual" duplication caused by the way a content management system constructs URLs, making it possible for the same physical page to be accessed using more than one URL.)

 

It's always preferable to have each "page" of unique content accessible only through one URL. Taking care of the www versus non-www issue is a start, but if you have additional instances of duplication (where exactly the same content is available through two or more URLs) then those should also be addressed, one way or another.

 

To my mind, a blog should be treated the same whether it's on your own main domain, a separate domain you control or on a third party platform. The advantage of having a blog on your own domain is that it's often easier for most people to remember to integrate it into the site navigation. And of course there's the advantage of having the content under your control (no worries about the account being disabled or deleted by a third-party provider). But if the blog is already on a third-party domain with a reasonable amount of content (such that it would be a pain to migrate it), then I would consider getting it on to a company-controlled domain to be a very low priority at the moment, given all the other stuff they need to be taking care of first.

 

So, all that said, I think yes, by all means you should be linking from the blog posts to appropriate content on the main website (and vice versa!). The point of a company blog is not to exist in a vacuum, but to attract visitors with useful content, and then to send (a portion of) those visitors on to the main website where at least some of them will (with luck) become customers. The only way that's going to happen is if the blog links (where appropriate) from itself back to some content on the main site.

 

Also, definitely you want a "blog" link in the main site navigation, and you want the blog to contain a link in it's navigation to your main site. Beyond that, if you have content on the main site that would be enhanced or is expanded upon by a post on the blog, it's OK to link out to the blog from the main site, too. Naturally, links between the main site and the blog should run both ways. The fact the blog is on a third-party platform shouldn't make any difference in how you go about linking. Just don't overdo the linking. It isn't necessary to link back to your main site using exact-match anchor text on every blog post -- and be sure if you are linking, link to the most relevant page. (All links should not point to the main site home page.)

 

My :02:

 

--Torka :oldfogey:



#7 AvyGuttman

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 06:13 PM

Torka, Jill - thank you both so much for your guidance. I appreciate it so much. I wasnt able to ask this

question so I replied to an old post in the pub section. Am I not supposed to be asking questions any more?

Well, that was just a question too ;)



#8 torka

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 10:36 AM

Not sure why you couldn't start a new topic. That's a question for someone at a higher pay grade than mine, because I can't see any reason for it. :) Maybe it was just a glitch?

 

I think I speak for everyone here when I say we do appreciate your questions and participation! :thumbup:

 

--Torka :oldfogey:



#9 AvyGuttman

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 11:33 PM

Not sure why you couldn't start a new topic. That's a question for someone at a higher pay grade than mine, because I can't see any reason for it. :) Maybe it was just a glitch?

 

I think I speak for everyone here when I say we do appreciate your questions and participation! :thumbup:

 

--Torka :oldfogey:

Thank you, that means a lot to me.

 

I will continue to participate and must say, I have learned more and faster here than anywhere else.

 

I had a quick question...I have many pages that need to be sent to a custom 404 page. Is there a way to send them all to the custom 404 page in one shot? Is it better to find a page that it can be 301 redirected to that is somewhat similar? Many are discontinued products, these can match up with new ones. Is it bad to have too many 404s even if they resolve to a custom 404 pa ge that gives users a search box and a way back into the site. I guess just having a link on a custom 404 page to the homepage is a bit lackluster, but I do have quite a few to 404. Thanks as always


Edited by AvyGuttman, 21 July 2015 - 11:41 PM.


#10 Michael Martinez

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 09:47 AM

If there is a shared string of text in all the pages' URLs that is NOT shared by any other URLs on the site, you can use a RedirectMatch directive in .htaccess.

 

If you want to redirect all the pages in a given folder and the folder name does not occur in URLs anywhere else on the site, you can use RedirectMatch on the folder name.

 

THIS WORKS

 

RedirectMatch 301 /unique-string http://www.example.com/

 

Only URLs that start with "/unique-string" will be redirected.

 

RedirectMatch 301 *unique-string* http://www.example.com

 

Only URLs that contain "unique-string" will be redirected.

 

RedirectMatch 301 /unique-folder/ http://www.example.com/

 

There is only one folder on the site where any URLs containing "unique-folder" exist and you want them all to be redirected.

 

THIS DOES NOT WORK

 

RedirectMatch 301 /UNunique-string http://www.example.com/

 

In this case, you have some pages starting with "/UNunique-string" that you do not want  to be redirected, but they redirect anyway.

 

RedirectMatch 301 *UNunique-string* http://www.example.com/

 

Again, you have some URLs that contain the expression "UNunique-string" and they will be redirected even though you don't want that.

 

RedirectMatch 301 /UNunique-folder/ http://www.example.com/

 

You do NOT want every URL containing the phrase "/UNunique-folder/" redirected, but the RedirectMatch directive will cause that to happen.


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#11 AvyGuttman

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 10:06 AM

Michael,

 

Thank you for your help. This provides an in-depth answer to my question and I really appreciate it very much.






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