How can I get the best results from my clients domain portfolio?
July 9, 2008 2:21 AM   Subscribe

Web Business Filter: How I can help my clients utilize the domain names they have which are related to/associated with their their main flagship business website? Forward traffic? Create minisites? Advice needed please!

I have recently created a new flagship website for my clients brand. When they registered their main domain name, they also registered a whole host of related domain names that sound similar and which target a lot of keywords in their niche.

How can I best advise them to use their domain portfolio to boost the visibility and ranking of their main brand?

Should I create mini-sites that relate to the larger?
Should I redirect traffic from the additional domains, directly?
Should I redirect the traffic in some other way to capitalise on keywords?
How can I avoid duplicate content?

Any and all advice gratefully received.
posted by Scramblejam to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
IANASEO but from the little experience I have I would think that multiple minisites with content including keywords all linking directly to the main flagship site is going to be the strongest way to boost the main website's visibility. A redirect is only useful if you think a customer might get confused and key in the wrong domain (eg. if google bought,, etc). But yeah, if the domains are all based on keywords and associated stuff I would go with miniwebsites filled with meta data and keywords related to the brand that link directly and visibly from the getgo to the main flagship site. I believe it would also help if the minisites liinked to each other because it might give the individual sites a pagerank boost that the main site would benefit from as well.
posted by genial at 6:07 AM on July 9, 2008

Best answer: I went to a talk by Google on related issues, and they did say that they collapse PageRank across domains which use redirects. It's preferable to use 301 ("Moved Permanently") over 302, although it doesn't matter that much.

So if you have and 301 that to, any links to the first domain would count towards the page rank of the second.

I don't recommend making fake minisites loaded up with keywords that then link to the main site; Google can sniff that out, and it's annoying to visitors. It would be okay if the minisites had genuine content of their own.
posted by nev at 6:37 AM on July 9, 2008

Nev has it textbook right. Loading up mini-sites that aren't genuine information is tacky, insulting to visitors, and will be sussed out and penalized by search engines sooner or later.

Redirect if it makes sense, make genuine mini-sites when it makes sense. For example, if a company has three products that each have their own domain name, use those to make mini-websites about JUST those products. That's user- and search friendly all at once.

(Also, for an in-between solution, notice what Apple does with and Common.)
posted by rokusan at 7:19 AM on July 9, 2008

nev has the key, though I think everyone else meant the same: make mini-sites, not just redirects if you're interested in bumping search results, but the mini-sites need to all have unique content. As suggested above, target a few keywords at each site.
posted by yerfatma at 7:20 AM on July 9, 2008

Also, I Want To Believe in something like the link Hellafiles posted, but for the love of Tappy Tibbins, why do all SEO websites have to look and sound like late night K-Tel Ronco-matic House Flipping schemes?
posted by rokusan at 7:28 AM on July 9, 2008

Yeah, I would second (third? fourth?) the call for actual content on the mini-sites. After reading my original answer it seems I didn't focus on that as much. A page full of links is not going to look well, but a dedicated site towards a product full of information and a link to your main brand is not hurting anything. Plus real content will give other sites a reason to link up the mini-sites which in turn does you good as well.
posted by genial at 1:10 PM on July 9, 2008

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