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Opinions on EMD and sub sites, what is the best way to rank these days?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by drewman, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. drewman

    drewman Registered Member

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    So my client has the feeling that building a 100 EMD for his activity brokerage is a good idea. I know that it used to be common practice to have an EMD for each "niche" you are trying to target. But now I am thinking with all the updates to Google's algorithm, is this really the best practice? Should I work on all of these sites or maybe just cut it down to a few semi-emd's and then create a giant hub site that would be the content for a couple of these constituent domains (lol)...?

    Just want some opinions and maybe a few sources from BHW that could lead me in the right direction for the best SEO template for these sites. I have a decent budget and want to start this system out right so I can have the best results in the shortest period of time with continues success for the next few years.


    Thank you BHW for the love!.
     
  2. Endire

    Endire Elite Member Premium Member

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    Drewman,

    I think you would be fine using EMD's as long as the sites have useful and rich content. The main reason a lot of people were hit with that update wasn't just because they were using an EMD but because their sites (in most cases) had shallow content or other red flags.

    I would say that if you can't make each site have useful content then don't even bother putting it up. Many of the updates that Google has put out there have been designed to make it harder to game the system.

    A lot of people are saying that an EMD still gives off some powerful signals in search as long as other things are quality on the site too. Here is a good writeup from SEOMoz on the topic,

    http://www.seomoz.org/blog/are-exact-match-domains-in-decline

    Good luck!

    Shawn
     
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  3. drewman

    drewman Registered Member

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    good articles, thanks!. Another thought, how many pages of qualified content is enough, has there been in determining factors, as of late, to the page number formula? Or are we still just guessing and crossing our fingers?
     
  4. Arsis

    Arsis Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    If you go the EMD route which I wouldn't recommend, try to make sure your exact keyword is in the title tag, but used zero times in your content, since it's already your domain - to keep clear from onpage overoptimization penalties. For me personally innerpages work way better on a brandable (non keyword stuffed) domain. Google wants brands, not spam.
     
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  5. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    If your client has money to spend, have you thought about building a private blog network?

    Not emd's, and not to rank but lots of sites with decent content, on separate hosting, all linking to the main site - they build the main site as an authority site to target the entire niche.?
     
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  6. drewman

    drewman Registered Member

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    Ya, I was thinking doing something like a blog network. The think about all these "activity sites", is they will all have a reservation type system and I'm probably going to build a multi-site system to help with changing prices and such on all sites at once. What kind of blog matrix would you guys suggest to build up my mother site. Any sources I can check out?
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  7. madgordy

    madgordy Newbie

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    I've been working on a network similar to what you're describing for the last year and a half. With your "reservation" system i'm assuming your sites will have dif targets so as to not step on each other i.e. destination based. That's how we are and all of our sites (all EMD) made it through the EMD update without a glitch. We have approx 5 pages of unique content per site and up to 800 pages of product detail pages that can be found on all the sites... 140 sites in total. So, as other users have stated, your EMD approach is ok as long as your top pages contain unique content and you don't go overboard w/ your kw stuffing. I find this still helps greatly w/ ctr as well so, in my opinion, is still a good route to take.

    Concerning how to automate your updates...

    We used WPMU with a the main site being the "master" site that was never viewed by the public. This site housed all the data that was pulled into the other sites. Via a custom plugin, we pulled those pages into the other sites using shortcodes i.e. [get domain=master page=?blah]. With that structure, we were able to make updates to the single master site (content changes, pricing, etc.) and it automatically updated on all the sub sites.
     
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  8. madgordy

    madgordy Newbie

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    Another idea for updates would be something like managewp or similar. Never used it but may be worth checking out the free trial to see how it operates.
     
  9. turdface

    turdface Supreme Member

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    If one has made the mistake of keyword stuffing an EMD, and it be corrected in the future?

    I have an EMD with hyphens that was like 4% keyword stuffed before, disappeared from the SERPs, and a few months ago I changed it to like 1% keyword frequency, and it's still nowhere to be found.

    A hand built site with 30+ pages of handwritten content by myself.

    For comparison, the number 2 site right now is an EMD (no hyphens) with only 3 pages of content.
     
  10. drewman

    drewman Registered Member

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    @madgordy, thanks I have been thinking about WPMU as an option. So if I have this right, you have a cart system holding all your data and it is blocked from google indexing it, and it controls the product content to all your other ecom sites. Question, how do you handle the indexing of all your products and the obvious duplicate content? Are you blocking them from getting indexed or is there some line of code you are using to help google understand your system?
     
  11. madgordy

    madgordy Newbie

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    Sry for the late reply... been out of the loop a bit. Product indexing was my main concern. At first I let all the pages index and while I didn't see any knocks for dup content, it def hurt me in terms of diluting the site. Another issue that arose was that my product listing pages went to pr4 w/in a year and my index/unique pages were 0-2. That showed me that my product listing pages were seen as the top of the hierarchy for the sites (despite all linking being done around those top pages and not the product listings) which is not what I wanted.

    My initial thought was to noindex the product pages (really didn't want to do that) and rel=nofollow the product listing pages from my search, index links, etc. As I was getting specific product traffic I ended up taking the next route.

    I simply rel=nofollowed the product links from the product listing page which only left my product in the xml sitemap and lowered the juice on the listing page. This worked like a charm. Upon the next pr update my product listing pages went to pr1 and my index/unique pages with the kw focus I was targeting went up min +1. I'm not giving too much credit to pr here but it does indicate the view G has of your site and can def help with hierarchy issues. Immediately my EMD kw's started improving in serps and my conversion more than doubled (.7 to 1.6 avg). That conversion might seem low but not when you consider the price of my product. Again, sorry for such a late response but I hope this helps a bit. Good Luck!!

    Edit: This was also another nod for using a single master for all your templates instead of on a site/site basis. Adding the rel=nofollow only had to be done once on one page since the product listing just looped for each product :)
     
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    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  12. madgordy

    madgordy Newbie

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    turdface - Yes you can fix it. It's not just the kw density of the pages that matters (actually, I don't even worry about it anymore). You need to analyze your backlinks. Going out on a limb here but from what you're saying, I'm guessing you need to get to work on adding junk links like url, click here, etc. Your linking profile seems to raise flags quicker than any onpage optimization you've done (and, of course, is more work to correct :). There are differing opinions on the "sweet spot" but I tend to keep my kw matched links around 20% and then spread the rest out amongst url, junk words, and media. Search around on here for link diversity and you'll find plenty of help.