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Would this be considered black hat?

Discussion in 'Link Building' started by athard, May 25, 2011.

  1. athard

    athard Newbie

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    I had a client ask me a question that I am not sure how to answer. Hopefully somebody here can advise me. Thanks in advance.

    Situation:

    I launched a new site for a client. Let's say example.com. Now, the client wants to run TV ads to promote the site, but instead of promoting example.com, he wants to use other url's like exampledallas.com and examplekansas.com. He wants me to re-create just the home page for each of these and the rest of the menu items will be hyperlinked to go to example.com. So, if a user clicks on any menu item, they are taken to example.com and get to see the rest of the site there.

    Now, exampledallas.com etc will have the same design and menu structure, but the content will be slightly different. Since we are re-creating the page over and over and can potentially create 50-60 such sites in the next few months, I was concerned that we are doing something blackhat. Am I right?

    One solution that I have recommended is that we put a robot.txt file on each of these, blocking search engine spiders from indexing these sites and I will make each link NOFOLLOW links. That way, we won't get any SEO/backlink benefits.

    Note: The reason for creating these sites is that the main site will have generic content and each of the other sites will have city specific content. He also wants to track how well the TV ads are doing for each independent TV campaign in each city. We recommended a redirect but the client doesn't want to do that.

    My question to you is, will we get into trouble for using this approach? Would a robot.txt file and nofollow links suffice to keep the search engines happy and not penalize us? I would appreciate your insight.

    Thanks again.
     
  2. imth3one

    imth3one Newbie

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    There is nothing blackhat at all. Things get called black because they are against rules like spam,doorway and misleading text.

    You are just creating landing pages and there is nothing wrong with that. Only issue would be duplicate content but you are adding noindex and robots.
     
  3. mahesh10

    mahesh10 Newbie

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    This is not a Black Hat technique.The author of the web site is one.You are just adding the pages to the site.If the client wants, you can design it.He wants to promote the site for different countries.I have never used this.But its not coming under the Black hat category.
     
  4. j.v.eeckelenburgh

    j.v.eeckelenburgh Registered Member

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    Google isn't very fond of this landing page approach, and if the content is too thin you could get into trouble.
     
  5. BHopkins

    BHopkins Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    If he just wants to promote the domain, just 301 to the main site.
     
  6. adbot

    adbot Power Member

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    Not black hat but Im not sure its very effective. whats the problem with running the tv ads in different areas and pointing them back to the main site with the general info? seems like a lot of extra work for no reason. I could understand if you wanted to rank for geo specific searches, but your talking about no indexing the pages. I think its a waste. Aside from that, example.com sounds more trustworthy than somelongcitynameexample.com plus its easier to remember.
     
  7. Narrator

    Narrator Power Member

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    You could use the robots file or a meta tag to keep the search engines from indexing the landing pages. If you have unique enough content on each you shouldn't need to block the spiders

    If the customer is just worried about tracking you could 301 each domain with a tracking id to keep track of the incoming users.
    i.e. exampledallas.com -> example.com?ref=dallas
    then track the visitors with a simple php script.
     
  8. Narrator

    Narrator Power Member

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    I was thinking a little about this and I realized all you need to do is add a canonical url tag in the meta section of all your mini sites that point to the main site.

    This way you acknowledge to google that they are duplicate content and should index the main site instead. That would be the proper way to do it.
     
  9. Jonny Quick

    Jonny Quick BANNED BANNED

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    Will there be 52 domain names that need to be registered and paid for?

    Are they all available?
     
  10. jannat8

    jannat8 Registered Member

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    yes he wants to promote the site for different countries.I have never used this.But its not coming under the Black hat category.
     
  11. Juan.A

    Juan.A Newbie

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    Why don't you just create subdomains?
     
  12. dragonrage01

    dragonrage01 Power Member

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    i was about to suggest this one.

    I read somewhere that it isn't allowed to have multiple domains about the same thing. For example: tvrepairs.com tvrepairs01.com and etc
     
  13. hrolf555

    hrolf555 Newbie

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    You know there are 50 states, right? Or are you counting Canada and Guam? :D
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  14. SuperLinks

    SuperLinks Elite Member

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    What do you think he's planning on creating? Thin 'doorway' pages!

    I'd recommend creating a different design/content than the one used on your primary domain. Chances are you could build an even more effective landing page for TV traffic, and then have your primary domain for normal web traffic.

    Obviously if this guy is planning on having a TV campaign, he's got the cash to design a TV specific landing page. I'd also recommend NOT noindexing/nospidering the domains. Chances are you'll begin receiving links from random bloggers and sources on the internet to these 'tv ad' domains. You don't want to lose that PR, so I'd recommend them getting indexed. You never know, Google could potentially rank you for a city name + service/product name and you could get some traffic that way.

    Finally make sure you are split testing the traffic to see what converts best. I'd focus on split testing every campaign if possible to optimize conversions. What converts well in one state/city, may not convert well in the next.
     
  15. Muller234

    Muller234 Newbie

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    Hi

    Yea I agree that's not black hat it's only a landing page
     
  16. Migladon

    Migladon Regular Member

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    why not a bunch of subdomains?

    like

    dallas.example.com

    or example.com/dallas
     
  17. zimema

    zimema Newbie

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    Just thinking, wouldn't it be best to 301 the landing domains to mainsite and the maybe generate a content switcher code based on ip address to show different elements of maybe all the pages? Or is it the case that in the USA you cannot switch content by state? Google could not complain really, because this is what they do to everyone worldwide, e.g. .co.uk .au etc, they show us what they want us to see content-wise...
     
  18. SEO Content Demon

    SEO Content Demon Newbie

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    Simply it's a white hat technique. If you are putting the content that is different from main site then search bots will never penelize your main site. Well it's true that robots.txt and nofollow links are enough to keep the bots away from crawling and indexing those landing pages.

    Well, if you don't want that bots would crawl or index the landing pages then also put the null scripts on those pages. It will also prove a beneficial method.

    By the way... happy boting!!
     
  19. Sacrilege

    Sacrilege Regular Member

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    Wow guys really? the solution is pretty obvious:

    Rework the content on each domain to optimize for the local version of your keywords.

    Create and optimize google/yahoo/bing local profiles for every site(assuming that any of your keywords triggers a 7 box)

    Build links everywhere to all sites

    This should kill 50 birds with 1 stone, give your client a higher volume of targeted leads than the tv ads ever will, and allow you to bill him minimum 100k for this work. I expect no less than 10k for posting this.

    you're welcome.
     
  20. Peter1982

    Peter1982 Newbie

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    it all gets very grey nowadays but from what you say you should be fine