1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Different Domains for Departments?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by seotophat, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. seotophat

    seotophat Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2015
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Have a situation where a company is in several different lines of business. For example, let's say the company does single family home construction, multi-family apartment/condo building construction, and commercial/office building construction. The company wants to appear as though they are specialists in each of those areas. So if the company name is ZipCon, there is ZipCon Homes, ZipCon Multi-Family, and ZipCon Commercial. Maybe not the best example but you get my point.

    They want the home page to be custom for each of the three areas so the domains might be:

    zipconhomes.com
    zipconapartments.com
    zipconcommercial.com

    Now I'm trying to figure the most "Google Friendly" way to structure it. Seems like I have a few options. I don't want to have to create three totally different looking websites. They would all use the same basic framework of a site but the content would be different (different wording and pictures).

    (a) Have a main site zipcon.com where the navigation to each of the three departments links to each of the three other domains so the department content is not accessible via the zipcon.com base address so there is no duplicate pages. This would mean the main zipcon.com website would be pretty thin on content itself.

    (b) Have all the content on the main zipcon.com domain, but host the other three domains and make the home pages for those domains go to the content of the department home pages of the zipcon.com site but prevent Googlebot from trying to index the three department domains so there isn't a duplicate content issue. Downside of this is that then the department domains are only good for putting on business cards or using for local business citations - although I doubt Google/Yelp/etc would let you get away with having all three listed separately unless you gave them separate addresses and phone numbers.

    The goal is that we want to have separate collateral (business cards, brochures, and *maybe* business listing citations) for each branch of the business and when someone searches for that particular niche of service, the home page for that service comes up before the main home page in the search results (which would only be possible using method a)

    I suppose we could also eliminate using the zipcon.com base website all together. But if the three websites have the same underlying HTML/CSS/JS structure and just different wording and images, will Google still considering them "semi duplicate" sites and therefore negatively effect the rank?
     
  2. kittykut

    kittykut Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2016
    Messages:
    510
    Likes Received:
    223
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    localhost
    homes.zipcon.com
    apartments.zipcon.com
    commercial.zipcon.com

    use subdomains
     
  3. seotophat

    seotophat Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2015
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    That begs the question, WHY?
     
  4. Nargil

    Nargil Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    3,990
    Likes Received:
    2,567
    Location:
    Europe
    Home Page:
    The entire approach makes absolutely no sense at all.

    The budget required to rank 4 domains instead of 1 with multiple sections will be a few times higher. People will be confused, because if they search your brand name, they will get 4 results and that's just retarded in my opinion.

    It makes no sense to make 4 websites for 4 different keywords. You can rather make 4 websites and target all keywords with each of them, so you will dominate the search results. But targeting each keyword seperately makes absolutely no sense to me from any point of view.
     
  5. seotophat

    seotophat Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2015
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    First off, I assume you are talking about strategy (a) because I proposed more than one approach. One of the approaches I proposed was to have the domains active for other marketing purposes besides SEO and exclude them from being indexed.

    I see your point though. However, the actual business has little competition in the actual niches. The amount of SEO work is highly dependent on how crowded each space is. We may go as far as to create different company names all together. This is a VERY common practice, for instance, Pepsi has a separate site for Mountain Dew and AMP Energy drinks. Maybe not the best example but you get my point (and to your point obviously Pepsi has a lot of resources to maintain multiple sites.)

    I think if your lines of business are very different and you have the resources, it is obviously the better strategy to create separate sites but that is more of a business marketing decision overall then just and SEO decision.

    The problem with my situation is it is sort of 'on the fence' as the lines of business are different but not all that different and resources ARE limited. Guess I'll have to mull this over some more. Although I'm leaning towards the conclusion that if the base business name doesn't change, then it SHOULD all be on one site. It's not like Mountain Dew is called "Pepsi Mountain Dew"