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search engine - one or more domains?

Posted on 2004-09-29
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hello experts!

My company is currently developing new online presents.  We are in hotel/leisure industry. Small chain - 6 resorts all over US.  We have domain name www.company.com and also www.company-california.com, www.company-florida.com etc.

Our web development company is pushing us to use 301 redirect and have only one site with www.company.com with 301 redirect (for company-california.com) that would go to www.company.com/california.

Our company would prefer to keep www.company.com more for corporate purposes with links to all other locations. We think that we have better chance to get higher listing if we have site for each location. Also, the change of url can be annoying for some customers.

Web dev. company thinks that it would be easier to take care for one site and put it high in search engines, rather than many (6) sites. Also, apparently we could be facing some penalties from search engine authorities...

Can you, experts, give me some opinions on this.  If needed I will split the points.

Thanks

Purmar
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Question by:purmar
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by:humeniuk
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Unless www.company.com is meant to be a private corporate site, I would say the web dev company is giving you good advice.  The implications of using different domains is the same as using subdomains - you can see an overview of the relevant issues in this thread: www.experts-exchange.com/Web/Online_Marketing/Q_21148843.html.
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by:duz
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Purmar -

>....use 301 redirect and have only one site with www.company.com with 301 redirect (for company-california.com) that would go to www.company.com/california

That is the correct approach for a chain of resorts like yours.

It is a refreshing change to see someone asking for a second opinion at this stage because it's too late to change the fundamental architecture a year after the project is completed.

Make sure your web development company designs the site for users first, search engines second and you the customer third. If there is anything that the development company really likes, like snazzy graphics or arty navigation, get rid of it and apply the 'keep it simple principle'. When they show you a page ask them what keywords it has been optimized for and why, do this for every single page on the site!

And of course if you are concerned at any stage come back here for a second opinion....

- duz
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minichicken earned 75 total points
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Hi

Use www.company.com as your main domain and the others as parked domains that redirects to your main site is a good idea.
Thinking in terms of management of the site, I can just imagine it would be a nightmare to manage all your site separately, so rather use your main domain as your central storage of your sites. In this way all your sites can share files such as the header and footer of the webpages, this is extremely useful as you will only need one copy of the files and can be included across all sites. If you update the shared file, it will update through out your sites. Not only sharing of files, but also having a central database storage, this way you can have all your client details in one place and not all scatter across different domains and have to worry about consolidating them.

In terms of search engine optimization, my point of view is that; it would be quicker for "crawlers" or "bots" to index your whole site if you store them in one place, otherwise you may find that only some of your site are indexed. Well this is just my own opinion. but the bottom line is that it will ease the management part of your site and since the algorithms of search engines changes quite often it will not be worthwhile focusing on search engine ranking.

Hope this is valuable for you :)

j311y
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