Should I Build My Own Linking Network?
This SEO question is from Joel Cohen, RestaurantMarketing.com
If I have a furniture store website in a first page position on Google for “home furniture Houston” and I decide to do a separate website for my “kids furniture division” and it gets a top position for “kids furniture Houston” and I do two more separate sites for (example) outdoor furniture and recreation room furniture and they all get top positions on Google, AND they all link to each other, does Google discourage this? It’s like building my own linking network.
This sounds like a sound business practice. Too often in the Internet world we base on decisions on what Google would want. Google, in fact, says to market your site as if the search engines weren’t involved. Straight from Google’s Guidelines, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?” I personally would say this is a solid idea and focusing on product lines on each website can be a seen as a clever business decision. Interlinkng between them is would also be encouraged. Why would it be considered bad to link to your similar themed sites? If you owned more than one brick and mortar store you would certainly point visitors to it, so why should the web be any different.
You should make sure you don’t have duplicate content on your sites. If you are going to break out your outdoor furniture from your “main” furniture site, be sure you aren’t showing the same products with the same descriptions. Interlinking should be done strategically and with an eye towards marketing. Just don’t place a link in the footer, create a page that talks about the other site and its line of products and place multiple links to the other site. You want to drive targeted traffic that is well-informed of its link destination.
In summary, creating topically focused product sites isn’t a bad thing, it is a business decision that should be thought out. There will be more work and stores to admin, of course and cross-site linking won’t encourage visitors to view other related products as much as everything being on the same site. Pros and cons to each, as with most things in life. Just don’t let Google control your business decisions, after all, controlling the search results is enough power, don’t you agree?
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