SEO Kings, help me site is a squash and a squeeze
September 14, 2011 1:11 PM   Subscribe

Calling SEO/Google Experts: I have a bloglike site for a new company (on Wordpress) and I am trying to make it SEO friendly. Hypothetically, lets assume that the site is about flying lizards and I have named it ''. Every day, new and well written content is added to this site so hopefully in the next few months it will start showing up at a respectable rank on google. BUT:

Here are my questions about how the Google algorithm works:

1. If I want this site to rise up fast have I made a mistake by calling it (liz only being part of the key word and .ly being an odd domain)?

2. Will it be worth re-naming it to something like so it starts showing up when someone searches

3. Can I do a 'network' install of wordpress and map 2 domains on it? (I have only heard about it - is this going to be a problem)

Thanks in advance
posted by london302 to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
IANASK (SEO King), but have you discovered Google Webmaster Tools yet? I've been finding them quite helpful in figuring out how Google sees my site and how I can make it more visible.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 1:22 PM on September 14, 2011

1. I don't think you have to worry about this provided you create lots of useful content. There are tons of freaky named domains that get great traffic.

2. I wouldn't really bother. I would put some effort into setting up Yoast SEO plugin to rewrite all titles.

3. Two domains with the same content? There's going to be all kinds of duplicate content issues with this.

Again, set up Yoast or another SEO plugin, focus on great content and market the content.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:38 PM on September 14, 2011

If you're worried about your domain name showing up in searches, this is the question I ask:

Are people going to be already so familiar with your brand that the domain name is what they put into Google, or do you want people to find your site based on its characteristics?

I'd say #2 is the main reason people need SEO. You sell Widget B, and you want to be the top of the search for the word "Widget". Being the top search for "" is secondary, and comes relatively naturally since only one person can own a domain name at a time (for the most part). Usually you're not trying to SEO to attract current customers; you want new customers who have never heard of you before, and are therefore not googling your business name, for the most part. Focus your SEO on what people are searching for, to attract them to your site rather than the stuff they get from Google now.

You can have two different domain names pointing at a single webserver, but that doesn't help your SEO, and might count against you. Google will see that as identical content on different websites, and treats that as spammy. When I have more than one domain name pointing at the same server (it's usually and, one of them does a redirect to the other, so that there's one, single, master domain name.

Above all: your regularly-posted, well-written content is 1000% percent of what you need to do for SEO. You're wise to wonder if domain names help or hurt, but I'd say, if you've got one domain name, and one well-written, regularly-updated website, you're doing the absoulte best thing for increasing your Google exposure. Getting other people to link to you is #2, but that's another discussion altogether.
posted by AzraelBrown at 1:38 PM on September 14, 2011

ManyLeggedCreature is right about webmaster tools, it's completely mandatory for any serious site. Also, make sure you set up google alerts so you can track your site or content.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:40 PM on September 14, 2011

We use the Yoast SEO plugin. No idea about the dual domains, but avoid duplicate content at all costs.

I doubt the domain name is all that important. If you Google "iPhone" you still end up with as your first result, right?

The key to appearing well in search is doing keyword research, assigning relevant keywords to each of the main and second level pages on your site, incorporating keywords in title tags and page meta descriptions, incorporating keywords into H1 headers (no images!) and finally incorporating keywords assigned to the page into page content - the page has to have something to do with the keywords.

Claim a Google Places listing so it appears in search. Create a YouTube channel (optimized with your keywords) so it appears in Search. Same for Twitter and Facebook.

If your search terms aren't as competitive, you have a good chance of dominating the front page of Google.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:37 PM on September 14, 2011

Not an SEO king, but make sure your meta tags are lined up. Google doesn't bother with the "keyword" tag, because it's too easily abused, but the "description" tag is indeed crawled, as are "alt" tags on the home page (just guessing on the second one).
Speaking of the home page, make sure that the words you'd like to be searched for are somewhere on your entry page. Google does appear to archive based on the content on your pages, so if you want to be known as the primary flying lizard provider in your area, it better say "flying lizard" somewhere on your entry page.
Finally, give your pages understandable names. is not going to do as well as
posted by Gilbert at 2:56 PM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Recently learning about all this junk SEO stuff myself, I found a very helpful place that might help you also:
Search Engine Land.

For instance: The Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors.
posted by Glinn at 3:02 PM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

The SEO value of the content of your URL is drastically over-inflated by self-styled SEO experts. Focus your energy on creating good relevant content, and on instituting best practices like using an H1 tag where relevant, always using the alt tag for images, etc.
posted by ErikaB at 3:03 PM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

IAASEO, but not yours (unless you'd like to pay, of course) ;)

1. No.
2. No.
3. No.

While URL once was a strong ranking signal, it's significantly degraded to almost no ranking signal at all.

As others have said, worry about creating great content. Yoast's SEO plugin rules the school. Start building backlinks and participating in social media if your industry calls for it (note: this doesn't mean 'make a Facebook page and forget about it'. PARTICIPATE). Most of the other suggestions in this thread are also very good.

Check out the Google's Webmaster Guide and the Beginner's Guide to SEO by SEOMoz. Both are invaluable.
posted by chrisfromthelc at 8:31 PM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

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