(nearly) identical Wordpress sites hosted on different URLs
July 10, 2012 9:20 AM Subscribe
Question about nearly-identical Wordpress sites hosted at different URLS and Google indexing/rankings.
posted by cilantro to Technology (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Basically, a chain of stores (to be referred to as “ChainStore” from this point forward) have asked for 15 Wordpress-based sites to represent their store branches. The site templates will be identical and the only difference between the sites will be some aspects of the content, which will still be similar but specific to each store.
They ideally want each site to be hosted at a separate URL - www.chainstorelondon.com, www.chainstorebirmingham.com, etc.
My understanding is that Google might see 15 nearly identical sites hosted at 15 different URLS and think “SPAM!”, possibly knocking the sites way down in the Google rankings.
Therefore, I have suggested that they host all the sites on one URL, with each individual site on its own sub-URL – so, www.chainstore.com/london, www.chainstore.com/birmingham and so on.
However, ChainStore would still like to be able to include the simpler addresses in print and direct mail advertising – so, if we host all of the sites on one URL, but purchase the 15 totally separate urls additionally, and set each to redirect to the relevant sub-url, will this get around the problem of Google seeing 15 identical sites? Or not? Or are there any other issues in this plan, relating to search engines or not, that I haven’t thought of?
(I have suggested that very few people type in email addresses they see in print advertising, and that people who WOULD type in the address probably won’t be put off by a slash, but they’re pretty adamant)