Multiple Websites ARE BAD

The world is changing and The Yellow Pages and other types of business listings services have found that the web is not very friendly to the printed telephone directory of old.  I suspect that their revenue along with their business model for shipping the Yellow Pages has all but vanished.   

What has resulted is a rush to convert these types of old media companies into modern webs agencies. Only one problem, unlike a static ad a website actually requires professional skills to make it work properly or even have a shot at working.  The result has been a slew of bad advice for businesses when it comes to launching a website and doing search engine marketing.  The most common and perhaps the most damaging is recommending to business to create more than one website when they have a single brand,  single focus, and definable office locations; for example Lawyers  / Attorneys  and Plastic Surgeons .  The result of the duplicated website is typically results in an irrecoverable or long term penalty from Google , Yahoo or Bing.   So when business asks me - Should I have more than one website?  The answer is an absolute no. ( At least not an index able website but that is a topic of another page).

I know there are marketing companies out there that will tell you it’s ok to have multiple websites and in fact sometimes they get away with it. That is until Google catches up, when that happens the results can be damaging to your overall SEO marketing efforts.     Here is an example of a typical keyword fluxuation after duplicating websites or using spammy SEO efforts.

I hid the clients name and keywords for obvious reasons.

So you will notice some growth and some drops in keywords ranking with the test case I posted.

So you will notice some growth and some drops in keywords ranking with this test case. However, the seo keyword data points to be worried about are the massive keyword drops down and the excessive keyword swings up. This is typical red flag which should be treated as your canary in a cage so to speak. In the not too distant future you can count on the Google algorithm to take the business website to the proverbial tool shed. The good news here is the Google penalty can be minimized if caught early. 

So what caused this Google Penalty?

1.      3rd party SEO efforts that targeted 10 Keywords instead of the 1000 the client normally goes after – a lack of diversity to a duplicated website

 
2.      Launching and 301 of a duplicated website with like (Not exact content) yet used the same brand name.

 
3.      Setting up of duplicated G+ and you tube accounts that intern affected  the rich search snippets and places listings the client had.  (Think Schema.org)

 

In a recent SEO story on Gawker they showcase a very good example of SEO going wrong.   The story reminded me just how fragile this world of SEO is and frankly how little understanding there is about search marketing.

Here is what they wrote ' which I agree with BTW - Its pure over kill.

 

When a blogger writes a blog post about something, that blogger will often put a "link" in the blog post that "links" to a related page on the internet. This is just part of blogging. Works pretty well. Until a massive corporation decides to actively get involved. Then, it becomes amusing.

Pop Fizz Daily is a small Minnesota website that tells readers "what is bubbling up in the Twin Cities." Macy's is a retail corporation worth more than $15 billion. Rosetta is an online consulting firm hired by Macy's to, I guess, help them with niggling issues that don't matter. Put all these things together and you get: Hilarious and Completely Unnecessary Email Demands From Large Corporate Consulting Firms to Small Internet Writers. Such as (bolding ours):

    From: [Rosetta SEO Associate]
    Date: March 5, 2012 12:38:59 PM CST
    To: [Pop Fizz Daily Blogger]
    Subject: Action Required - Incorrect Link to Macys.com

    Hi Gavin,

    I'm contacting you on behalf of Macy's, Inc. We completed a recent analysis that indicates your blog is linking to Macys.com, which we greatly appreciate. We are recommending you make updates to the hyperlink text and destination URL. Providing clearer anchor text and linking to the relevant product category will give your visitors a better user experience.

    Page: http://www.popfizzdaily.com/index.php?thedate=2011-06-24

    Current URL: http://www1.macys.com/index.ognc
    Recommended URL: http://www.macys.com/
    Current Anchor Text: Macy's
    Recommended Anchor Text: Macy's Clothing Store

    Please respond at your earliest convenience, so we can discuss the changes. We appreciate your help!

    Thank you,

    Lara

    We are contacting you on behalf of macys.com. If you would rather not receive emails regarding your blog postings from Macy’s, please unsubscribe here by responding to this email.

Most of my topics include online search and marketing; the boring stuff that makes the media go around. However, for years Oprah Winfrey has helped so many I figure, I will lend the Queen of media some free advice and maybe save her a few million dollars on her venture ‘ the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) .
The simple matter is Oprah’s name, brand, and image is just fine. In-fact the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) is a perfect in terms of content, and according to our polling is exactly what her viewers want.

The reason the network is suffering is because Oprah has priced her viewers out of the market by making this an Ultra-Premium Channel and then bundled it with the wrong Channels.  She (or her high paid media consultants) lost sight of who her audience is.  The majority of viewers are house wives, working women, and moms. 


How Oprah Can Fix OWN
Here are a few simple steps that should help the Oprah Winfrey Network get back on the road to high ratings.  

•    Re bundle the OWN channel with some type of family offering though cable or direct TV networks.  If moms have a choice between a Family TV bundle for their children or OWN, they will 9 times out of 10 chose their children.   You fit better with NAT GEO and HUB Network than you think.

•    Lower your cost, look if OWN can’t re-bundle with better fitting channels than it must lower its cost. The average Oprah follower is middle class and had a tough few years.

I suspect with these two very simple steps she will fix what all the kings horse and all the kings men could not.

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