Multi-Domain Strategy In SEO … Risky But Lets Have Some Risk

So I feel like its everyone’s dream to be a media conglomerate, why buy one newspaper when you can buy 100s?  Well, SEO and the internet are one big community…so in the analogy … why build multiple newspapers in the same city?  No one would do that and it’s about the same with the internet or at least it should be…but everyone wants to have multiple top ranking domains.

Real Life Examples Of Multiple Domains

There is only two ways this could work out…

  • Your brand is merging with another equally powerful and recognized brand and dissolving either brand will leave a huge gap that competitors will fill fast than you can with your one brand.  Example … Zillow bought Trulia for 3.5 billion they represent the number one and number two home listings sites.  They have continued to operate two sites in the same niche because anything other than what they have now is less than optimal.  SO … you can do the same when your billion dollar company buys out your #2 competition for 4 billion or so dollars.  Until then…this first scenario doesn’t work for you.

zillow has a multiple domain strategyTrulia Is In A Multiple Domain Strategy

  • Your brand is buying a vertical business…(word for it escapes just now but its not the point so moving on) Let’s say you make eyeglasses, you make almost all of the eyeglasses.  So you buy the stores that sell them and then you buy the vision insurance company too.  Thats what I mean…Your original business was production and you dealt with retail outlets, you couldn’t make hardly any more glasses so you expanded vertically in the supply chain.  Its the story of that famous eye glass company you know that owns all the others… Luxottica.  Never heard of them well…they did a “Multi-Domain” strategy and you have heard of these companies… EyeMed, Target Optical, Pearle Vision, Lens-crafters, Sunglass Hut, Glasses.com … theres more but you get the point.  A consumer believe they have choice in the market but thats because you let them.  Combined all these companies are 1/4 of all eyewear value in all the little pieces of that industry.  They command it.  Your new domain JimmysBestTshirtsThatRFunny.info is not them you need one domain…so buying 8 other T-shirt domains wont help you other than maybe you got a better name than that monster.  Now the key part of this strategy though is vertical integration…your retail store isn’t competing with your vision insurance company and its not competing with the factory … they’re all buyers of each other till a consumer gets it.

Increased Competition But Not Sales

Thats really about it.  You’re likely going to have room to grow in the sector you are in for sometime and you wont have the funds to buy up a fourth of the world’s T-shirt makers so focus on your one domain.  Why?  Well…changing the names to protect the guilty.  I had a client who insisted on multiple domains we’ll say they were a tour company that ran guided tours of Liberty Island in NYC.  Its a weird niche just cause you don’t have to have a guided tour to see the Island but because of the demand and popularity several companies sprout up and sale tickets to a national park property.  Its easy money with online sales being where its at … but if you have 5 competitors sites you figure well lets add two more so now there are 7 sites and your competition adds 2 sites thats 15 now plus your 3 …. so we now have 18 sites all competing for the same audience and the same experience.  Did you know that it’s really hard to rank up to the top 3 spots with one site?  So now to benefit from what you’ve done you need to rank up 3 times that and fight off 15 instead of 5 other sites.  We didn’t even have a second page until now in search results and someone has to be on it.

Multiple Domain Canabalism SEO

When Multiple Domains Don’t Work

So thing about your multiple domains, assign keywords to one … then move to the next domain … don’t assign the same keywords and the same role to that site, you’re just competing with yourself.  Also you’re diluting your search traffic maybe combined you have 30% of the traffic but Google doesn’t see that, it sees 15% here and 10% at this second domain and only 5% at the last site.  Say a competitor has a site thats at 16% his one site will out rank your three because you’ve split up all your efforts and resources.  Thats the problem with the Multi Domain Strategy.

When Might You Use Multiple Domains?

I like to think I don’t do that.  I have UltimateSEO.org and its SEO.  I have CLoud502.com and it is cloud computing and I have data502.com and its Data Analysis.  Related?  Of course but very different.  A person googling “AWS servers” isn’t going to click on a site about SEO.  You find niches for the domains and target the audience and keywords for those domains.

So in the end, before you grow to more than one domain ask yourself if this new domain will have a different audience than the first.  If not and if you can argue the same keywords fit both sites, you need one site.

So don’t eat yourself up with Multiple Domains.  I’ll be posting in the next day about my addition of UltimateSEO.net .. how I intend NOT to canabalize this site.

Related posts:

Keyword Tools: A Quick List For PPC And SEO

Keywords And Finding Topics That Your Client’s Is Interested In

is a tool offered by a company that provides 12 free searches.  I’m not super sold on its grand ability, it took the phrase IT Managed Services and tied into it “movie star planet”, “management definition” and “managed service provider”, among others.  My concern is that management definition as a keyword is of no use or value to an IT Managed Services company.  The next two terms are so broad all the industries out there will be searching similar words and your chances of paying for a false positive skyrocket.

With 12 free searches its also limited to be of little use after the first or second visit.

keyword tracker

So we have one tool on this site that can also help create variations of keywords.  You simply fill out the quadrants, let the code execute and collected the newly minted keywords.

Unlike other free alternatives, this keyword suggestion tool does not limit its functions nor does it lock all the good stuff behind a paywall. Right from the start, you have unlimited access to all of its features at no extra cost. This tool is, without a doubt, absolutely free.

Started in 2003 it is one of the longest standing SEO sites.  The site is likely a great start for beginners, it offers free accounts and tools to those with an account.

Id love to tell ya an in depth endorsement or word of caution so I’ll share my caution.  Their monthly price easily exceeds the threshold of most Adwords campaign total budget.  At its present price point you’d have to be dedicated to Adwords.  It is about $300 a month.  The free trial was for 14 days and it comes out with suggestions weekly.  So you have to stay on top of the date or you can miss out on vital optimization tips before you have the time to review them.

The Keyword Tool provides guest users 10 free keyword searches upfront, then one free keyword search per day onwards.

The Niche Finder Tool allows you to discover niches of particular core keywords. Much like the Keyword Tool, you also get 10 free niche searches, then one free niche search per day onwards.

The Keyword Generator Tool provides keyword suggestions for your paid and organic search campaigns. What is more impressive is that, even though this is a free tool, it returns thousands of accurate data that is pulled from a constantly updated database consisting of more than 1 trillion search queries from diverse sources.

KeywordTool.io helps you find out what people are looking for. It generates around 750 suggestions for every keyword.

It’s a handy tool for marketers and SEO consultants as it give out keyword suggestions based on  your primary keyword you entered. KeywordTool.io is helping people with their struggles and informing them about what keywords to target in their next ad campaign.

Search for any domain and see every place they’ve shown up on Google: every keyword they’ve bought on Adwords, every organic rank, and every ad variation in the last 12 years.

Learn how to connect with these domains, too. Find online and traditional leads methods — social media, email, phone, and address — you can’t find anywhere else.  Starts at about $39/month.

Related posts:

Keyword Tools: List Of SEO/PPC Tools

Keywords And Finding Topics That Your Client’s Is Interested In

is a tool offered by a company that provides 12 free searches.  I’m not super sold on its grand ability, it took the phrase IT Managed Services and tied into it “movie star planet”, “management definition” and “managed service provider”, among others.  My concern is that management definition as a keyword is of no use or value to an IT Managed Services company.  The next two terms are so broad all the industries out there will be searching similar words and your chances of paying for a false positive skyrocket.

With 12 free searches its also limited to be of little use after the first or second visit.

keyword tracker

So we have one tool on this site that can also help create variations of keywords.  You simply fill out the quadrants, let the code execute and collected the newly minted keywords.

Unlike other free alternatives, this keyword suggestion tool does not limit its functions nor does it lock all the good stuff behind a paywall. Right from the start, you have unlimited access to all of its features at no extra cost. This tool is, without a doubt, absolutely free.

Started in 2003 it is one of the longest standing SEO sites.  The site is likely a great start for beginners, it offers free accounts and tools to those with an account.

Id love to tell ya an in depth endorsement or word of caution so I’ll share my caution.  Their monthly price easily exceeds the threshold of most Adwords campaign total budget.  At its present price point you’d have to be dedicated to Adwords.  It is about $300 a month.  The free trial was for 14 days and it comes out with suggestions weekly.  So you have to stay on top of the date or you can miss out on vital optimization tips before you have the time to review them.

The Keyword Tool provides guest users 10 free keyword searches upfront, then one free keyword search per day onwards.

The Niche Finder Tool allows you to discover niches of particular core keywords. Much like the Keyword Tool, you also get 10 free niche searches, then one free niche search per day onwards.

The Keyword Generator Tool provides keyword suggestions for your paid and organic search campaigns. What is more impressive is that, even though this is a free tool, it returns thousands of accurate data that is pulled from a constantly updated database consisting of more than 1 trillion search queries from diverse sources.

KeywordTool.io helps you find out what people are looking for. It generates around 750 suggestions for every keyword.

It’s a handy tool for marketers and SEO consultants as it give out keyword suggestions based on  your primary keyword you entered. KeywordTool.io is helping people with their struggles and informing them about what keywords to target in their next ad campaign.

Search for any domain and see every place they’ve shown up on Google: every keyword they’ve bought on Adwords, every organic rank, and every ad variation in the last 12 years.

Learn how to connect with these domains, too. Find online and traditional leads methods — social media, email, phone, and address — you can’t find anywhere else.  Starts at about $39/month.

Citation Factor, Trust Factor And How They Relate To Domain Authority

They actually don’t relate to Domain Authority.  Domain Authority is a metric designed by Moz to help replace Google’s Page Rank which used to be made available to the public but has since been discontinued or at least the public portion is no longer available.  Now Moz isn’t the only company offering a replacement to Page Rank, Majestic came up with Citation Factor and Trust Factor.  You’d expect these two still somewhat relate to each other as they in theory are meant to portray the same thing but they rarely do.  This leaves it up to you to decide which metric to use to determine a site’s ability to rank a page on Google.

This is a second part to the Domain Authority post I recently made.

Moz And Majestic Disagree A lot

This is worth a separate post and it will be but for now just noting some random stats on domains in this spreadsheet do you see DA CF or TF rising and falling together?  BTW this spreadsheet is so unSEO friendly and will likely never get ranked for mobile, so I may have to wipe it out of a mobile version which is a shame.

For instance notice two domains are a DA 29 … the CT and TF are totally different.  Or DA 46 We have 6 all right next to each other, the CT ranges from 31 to 0 and TF ranges from 0 to 10 so no correlation on these really.  So now we know they are supposed to express the same thing but wildly disagree…what are Citation Flow and Trust Flow then?

Citation Flow

Citation Flow

Citation Flow is Majestic’s attempt at forecasting the influence of a site…what its capable of making folks do or believe.  This has nothing to do with how valid the argument or evidence is just the ability to be noticed.  I like to think of the Kardashians, Id argue they have influence and they can get noticed.  That being said I’m not saying they should be or that what they believe or think is valid or worthy of listening too.

I honestly don’t use this metric, I largely feel it irrelevant.  Its okay to watch…ever seen the movie Airplane! … Citation Flow is the guy who says nothing useful but is funny.

Trust Flow

How authoritative and trust worthy is the content they produce is the question Trust Flow tries to address.  Back to the Kardashians … I would assume that they have influence but trust in what they say isn’t all that great.  They are not experts at much.  Looking up one of their “personal” sites we have a TF of 21.  21 of 100 isn’t huge, its kinda high when we think of all the sites out there but I tossed in Neil Patel and Moz (TF competitor site) and they did well.  Patel 51 and 62 to Moz.  Which I can believe that Kim’s site is a 21 to those other sites being more than double in trustworthy content.

Some sites are used as seed trustworthy sites.  So lets say harvard.edu is trustworthy so we’ll give them a 100 ( not saying they have a 100 ) then who they link to we give a 90.  Who the 90s link too we give an 80, TF is kinda how far away a site is linked to a known trusted source.

I do personally use this metric but I give a lot of credit to very low numbers.  So If something is a 8 or 10 in TF I consider them at the start of trustworthiness like a 15 is average…seeing Moz at 61 is likely near God’s level of trustworthiness.

So that’s a high level look at Citation Flow ( Basically Useless ) and Trust Flow ( Generally Good ) and how they relate to Domain Authority ( no relation at all)

They’re competing products by two companies attempting to guess what Google thinks of your site…and they aren’t 100% accurate…

How I Use Metrics To Determine SEO Value

I use them as a mixture of fact and fiction, I look at DA first and foremost.  I’ve never seen a DA 0 With a CF 100 and TF 100 and if I did I wouldn’t have thought “that’s a good site”.  So DA is the first thing that attracts my attention.  I’ve seen plenty of DA 50 with a CF 14 and TF 12 and thought, this one is worth more review.

A secondary indicator of SEO value to me is then TF but I lower the bar on TF, I’ll make another post on this later, how I use these numbers to determine SEO value.

Related posts:

What Would Google Cloud Need To Do To Catch Up To AWS And Azure?

Matt Leffler
Matt Leffler, I host another complete web stack on GCP

Ease of use is one thing. I have clients that can benefit from cloud based solutions. They may have a typical hosting account with some name brand hosts but for various reasons I find myself getting annoyed and deciding I’m moving them to the cloud.

I move them to Google Cloud Platform but only temporarily because I know that when I leave them (I’m just a freelancer) they’ll be lost. If they decide they want to be in the cloud every single time I then move them to AWS. Why did I pick Google to begin with? Only one reason…the credit. That credit allows me to move them without them feeling pressured but when they make the decision to stick with the cloud they leave Google.

Why Is Google Cloud Not Where I Leave Them?

  1. Ever try to have a server on GCP with more than one IP address? – It is next to impossible compared with the ease of associating multiple IPs to an AWS server. Beyond the technical limitations of GCP they also don’t allow more than one IP address per zone. So I would have to use a load balancer if I wanted more than one server in the same zone. That second layer of steps exceeds the clients interest.
  2. Often they have WHM / cPanel servers and they require 2 IP addresses for the two required name servers. Google Cloud … I have to make the WHM with one IP then run off to another zone and make a second server thats DNS only but still meets the minimum requirements of cPanel….then I have to make a DNS cluster tieing the two together and I have found these clusters to be very tricky…often somehow falling apart and needing to be put back together. The client in the end just wanted one server. I can do that in about 2 hours total on AWS without additional servers.
  3. Restrictions – So lets say I make a GCP WordPress micro server. I let people signup and require them to respond to an email from the server. NO ONE ever responds to the email…well, its because GCP by default blocks all SMTP ports. So, if I want something as simple as email I have to go setup a mail relay through another service and guess how many clients eyes glaze over at this point? All.
  4. Too much reliance on Cloud SDK over simply putting it in the website. Again back to clients being able to use this after I leave them, if they cant do it in the web interface they cant do it. Too often the instructions in the help reference Cloud SDK and thats the end. If a client requires a full time cloud specialist because Google relies on Cloud SDK too much then I can’t leave an everyday client with them.
  5. Ever tried to SFTP into a server? AWS I pick an SSH key that Ive already added from previous servers and then in my SFTP client I add my connection settings and select the .pem file and I’m in. Google cloud there are just way more steps and issues. Here is a fun example … go to google and type “Google Cloud SSH” and see what Google suggests you are searching for…Google Cloud SSH Key, Google Cloud SSH Not Working, Google Cloud SSH Permissions, Google Cloud SSH Timeout …. that says volumes. Permission denied is basically the expected search from Google if you type a simple thing you will have to be able to do.

So those are my thoughts…its overly complex and drops the ball in an area that only a few people in most companies IT departments can understand.


I added this into UltimateSEO.org because it IS an SEO thing.  The speed and loading of your site has a big effect on your ranking.  I have improved a sites ranking from the average keyword in the 40s to the 20s by simply putting them on their own server.  Who wouldn’t want their keywords jumping like that and for about $30 a month.

UltimateSEO: Make An Impact

Web Site SEO Visualizations

Web Site SEO Visualizations
I’m a visual person as I believe most of us are which is why I am fascinated by these images of sites that I have visualized.  Green dots are working pages, blue dots are redirects and orange dots are pages that don’t exist or are forbidden.  The connecting lines represent link structure of a site.  The larger a dot the more traffic it receives.

[…]

20+ Of My Favorite Must Use Plugins for 2019

Web Site SEO Visualizations
I’m a visual person as I believe most of us are which is why I am fascinated by these images of sites that I have visualized.  Green dots are working pages, blue dots are redirects and orange dots are pages that don’t exist or are forbidden.  The connecting lines represent link structure of a site.  The larger a dot the more traffic it receives.

[…]

Google Data Studio: Know What You Already Know

Sounds odd right?  But it’s a challenge in today’s information overload and with all the metrics we track some basic questions are likely overlooked.  I think we all easily know how many people visited our site, most of us have Google Analytics set up, we should all have Google Search Console as well.  (More on that in another post … often people don’t know that both are essential pieces to SEO).  But here are some basic questions I’d ask anyone with a website…

Your Web Sites Data Should Answer

  1. Which page on your site gets the most hits, other than your homepage?
  2. Which page is the most likely page for a visitor to leave your site?
  3. What did a person type into Google search to get your site as a result?
  4. What percentage of searches are you getting when someone searches a keyword you’ve targeted?
  5. How many pages on your site are indexed in Google and how many are indexed in Google Mobile?
  6. What’s your average visitor like?  Are they into News And Politics?  Do they have children? How old are they? Are they urban or suburban people?

You might say who cares…but then you would be someone who doesn’t Know What You Already Know.  All of these answers are already available to you if you are using Google Analytics and Google Search Console.  Each one is important to know to ensure you’re successful.  If 85% of your visitors leave your site on one page then you likely need to review what about that particular page makes people leave your site.  If no one visits this section on your site is there any reason to expand it?  Knowing your audience is the second rule of almost any endeavor.  I’ve always operated with the idea that the first rule is to get your story out first, then second know your audience.

“If only HP knew what HP knows, we would be three times more productive.” Lew Platt, CEO, Hewlett-Packard.Mar 12, 2013 …. fun fact Lew Platt died in 2005, so how he said this in 2013 I’m not totally sure.

A suburban mother in her 50s, who likes cooking shows is likely to be receptive to a different message than a city living single 25yr old male who’s into books and reading groups.  If your site is using the same tactics with both you’re likely missing the attention of at least one but often both.  Just think of their days and how different they are…one likely wakes up early and has to get the kids off to school, drives a larger car farther every morning and maybe listens to the radio in on her commute.  The other wakes up just in time to shower and catch a train to the office.  You already know these things, you just don’t know it.

Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio makes graphs and graphs on graphs but beyond that it connects to repositories such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Adwords and much more.  Heres a pdf report I recently made that connects all of those and I export Bing data to a CSV file and it accesses Bing through that CSV.  So I can mash up all that and make something that tells a story.

Data_Studio_Report

Pretty cool right?  Some of the terms and labels are removed to keep the report semi-anonymous but its easier to understand the whole picture when its all together.  Highlighted tour..

  1. Sixth page shows us that 12 to 1pm are the highest hours our site was searched.  We came up just under 2nd in these searches.
  2. Page seven shows us that our average page loads in 8 seconds which is pretty horrible, but before we go fixing the site…not all pages load the same.  Three pages represent 95% of our wait times…so we should be focused on what is wrong with just those three pages….(which if we thought 8 seconds was bad, the worst page is closer to 11 seconds) . Not surprising that page is also the number one page that people leave our site.
  3. Page five shows that 64% of our clicks were from the “hybrid cloud” ad group, but it only made up 19% of the ads we showed on Google Adwords.  Is there something wrong with the other ad groups, or is this a service that we should focus and expand on?
  4. Page four deals with Search Console … organic SEM or pure SEO stuff.  Of the 1183 times our site was in the results of a person’s search…we were clicked 8 times.  That’s about 25% of the clicks we should be shooting for so whats wrong?  Likely position or the metadata from our site isn’t compelling.
  5. Page Three we see in the center our average position in search results.  Notice that tablet users see us much higher up than desktop or mobile users.  Should we change that or should we own it and focus on tablet users?
  6. Page Two we can see that our bounce rate is highest among Bing Ads users.  Overall the site’s bounce rate is 4.7% which is astounding but in our average page views we see SEOProfiler is our number one source of page views…thats not real users its a tool crawling our site that I use, its likely causing the bounce rate to artificially seem great and it is alarming that our biggest source of traffic is a diagnostics tool.
  7. Finally Page One, the one most people would have started with…this is the first week I’ve been running this client’s Adwords account, so it’s not performing to the level yet that we will need, the CTR of .7% is low, our goal is 2%.  But we’re just starting out and it is promising that our impressions are up 128% from the week prior and thats largely revenue neutral right now.

Thats a lot of info.  We discussed hardly any of it too.  I like Google Data Studio, and most of my clients do too.