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Local SEO, Landing Pages & Duplicate Content

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by demanz, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. demanz

    demanz Newbie

    Joined:
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    Occupation:
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    Location:
    England
    Hi Guys,


    To help finance my own projects I've picked up a couple of local SEO gigs. The tactics employed by the main competition on one of them though has started me questioning myself.


    Main competitor has a national presence, this is boosted by the fact that they sub contract/franchise their services to local companies. They offer a web service to these companies providing sites (which no surprise are scattered with links to their main site). Fair enough, great way of getting related contextual links and get paid for doing it, I take my hat off to them.


    When it comes down to their local SEO their method is also fine...


    Main Brand Site: Has local targeted landing pages (approx 250) including [keyword][region] in URL, title and content. All links point to main brand site.


    2nd National EMD Site: EMD is main keyword, has targeted landing pages (again approx 250) as above. Has same branding as main site including identical NAP. Has the odd buried generic link to main brand site (typically buried in footer). prob only max of a dozen across whole site.


    3rd level of sites with local EMD domains (keyword-local-region dot tld): Simple 5 page brochure sites targeted at [keyword][region]. Have uncovered about 30 of these so far but I'm sure there will be more. Again the branding and NAP are same as main brand site, only URL and Titles are regional specific. These tend to have a single generic link to National EMD site (2nd level), buried at the bottom of a sitemap.


    ...Ok so someone's put some work into this, good, I like a challenge. The 3 sites, not surprisingly typically all appear in the to 5 of all local searches. Though it must be said that they do look somewhat sp4mmy.


    Now to what has me perplexed...


    As stated the branding and NAP is the same across all the sites, but not only that. the content across all these sites is pretty much identical, only variations are town/county names, even the templates and images are the same or very similar.


    I know google has relaxed somewhat on duplicating content for targeting local services, however they do still state that you should make an effort to provide locally relevant pages for this sort of geo targeting.


    I intend to follow a similar strategy but on a smaller scale as my client is only interested in a small area, however I was still intending to provide unique content on all the local landing pages and local EMD site.


    My question is... Am I just wasting my time? Should I just copy and paste the existing content and just do a search and replace to insert the local info?


    Only joking, this goes against the grain for me on a legit client site, I will continue to do things properly. I am just amazed that such obvious duplication can rank so well on todays search with getting a big slap from Mr. G. Anyone else got any experience of this?


    Cheers


    D