Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Russell Cohn on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Wednesday, December 4, 2013).

Would this approach be viewed as trying to game the google seo system?

We have a business that addresses 5 health issues that people need and our solution is to create 5 similar websites, each with a unique url for each of the health issues.    The websites would be very similar with virtually the same information except the url and opening of the verbiage would address a different issue.   Someone told me that this approach might be viewed as trying to game the google seo system and we could lose our status in searches.   Please advise and thanks!?

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OUR ANSWERS

Answers from the Dumb SEO Questions Panelists.

  • Alistair Lattimore: Russell, There is nothing inherently wrong with creating micro websites, lots of businesses have them. However, creating websites in the format that you`re suggesting has two major problems, firstly duplicate content and secondly doorway pages. I`d recommend that you read through the Google Webmaster Guidelines to get a better feel for what Google thinks are appropriate. Al.
YOUR ANSWERS

Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Russell Cohn: We have a business that addresses 5 health issues that people need and our solution is to create 5 similar websites, each with a unique url for each of the health issues. ; ; ; The websites would be very similar with virtually the same information except the url and opening of the verbiage would address a different issue. ; ; Someone told me that this approach might be viewed as trying to game the google seo system and we could lose our status in searches. ; ; Please advise and thanks!
  • Michael Templeman: Russell, you really need to be careful you don't get dinged with duplicate content. And the reason that person said you might get in trouble is because this could be considered clustering by Google. It would look like you're trying to rank all the pages for similar content if they share a bunch of content.
  • Russell Cohn: Aha - we were definitely going duplicate the majority of the content across all 5 websites. ; I don't have any evil intentions - just wanted to attract the different health issues without jumbling them all into one website. ; You're saying to avoid this strategy as it may be counter-productive?
  • Wilfredo P. Kaami�o Jr.: And your site will be ranked less or worse get penalized
  • Bryan Phillips: A good copyright / content person can take the base content, re-write it, re-organize it. Also massage your Keyword focus within the pages themselves, also look a different was to establish you info architecture....
  • Wilfredo P. Kaami�o Jr.: If it is only one business, create separate pages for each topic instead, and put relevant content accordingly. ;
  • Unique Websites: I agree with + ;- have different pages focussing on different health issues. Make sure that the content is unique on each page.

    I'm not a ; SEO, but I would think that the only justification in today's world for dividing it into five websites is if you have 5 sister companies. Then you MUST give each website its own genuinely unique content (not just respun content) - I'm not familiar with your field, but examples of how the content could be different for each page/website would be - description of health issue, cause of health issue, treatments for health issue, how your business can help/has helped the health issue, sample case histories you have helped, testimonials etc.
  • Russell Cohn: Thanks to everyone who commented! ; This is great feedback and saved me a lot of time and wasted energy. ; I'm going to hold onto the unique url's and if and when we come up with unique content, we will consider creating the separate sites. ; Until then it's clear that we need to make our first site content-rich and use the 5 ; health issues in the content and the seo strategy. ; Thanks again to everyone for contributing!
  • Bryan Phillips: Russell, this huge infographic will give you a big yet focused snap shot of what some SEO shops think are the 200 channels Google is using 

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on G+, Wednesday, December 4, 2013).

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