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    NEW Updated Google Webmaster Guidelines - Worried


    OK I am now deeply concerned.

    I read with interest the new guidelines update and spotted the section on doorway pages http://support.google.com/webmasters...answer=2721311

    Here is the story.
    I have been involved with the internet for over 25 years so pretty much as it got going. About 3 years ago I setup a company with my daughter to make and sell products. In the market space there are some very big players but I have always been a believer in the internet is a good leveller and with a well designed site and good products you can gain ground and even overtake the big guys,

    Well in my niche I looked at my main competitor and they currently have 2.9 million backlinks and 1.7 million of them are dofollow (source ahrefs) so I decided to concentrate my efforts on long tail keywords and also target locations such as "widgits in Oxford" as we do deliver our products to these towns with a better product and much faster than our competitor. The trick worked very well and for most UK towns we are currently in the top 3 for our main keyword + town with a lot in top slot and have been there for over 12 months.

    I have also made ground and now rank in position 4 for the main keyword on its own but it seems stuck there for now and not moved for the last 3 months despite me working almost full time on the SEO side of things, I agree is not bad but as always you want to do better.

    The line that concerns me is the following
    Multiple pages on your site with similar content designed to rank for specific queries like city or state names
    and the following
    Google may take action on doorway sites and other sites making use of these deceptive practices, including removing these sites from Google’s index.

    These town pages bring in between 40% - 50% of our traffic.

    I could remove these pages and then watch our sales go down over night or I could leave them in the hope google do not de-index me.

    Anyone any thoughts on this.
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    No more seo


    I think what google is trying to do is:

    Any SEO = Black hat seo
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    Multiple pages on your site with similar content designed to rank for specific queries like city or state names
    Use unique content for each page.

    Comments on this post

    • EGOL agrees : This is what you need... Unique as Darren says.. and make it substantive.
    • joshz agrees : It's the most difficult part - but obviously could be argued as the most important. Good suggestion.
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    As stated above, no cookie cutter pages.

    I would only keep the minimum number of "city pages" that bring traffic. So if you have 6 city pages, and 3 bring in most the traffic, I'd ditch the other three.

    I would also not want to jeopardize your #4 position for the main keyword in any way. If the sales conversion rate is high for the "city" related searches, perhaps ditch the city pages and use AdWords to target the city searches.

    Like many SEO techniques, it's a game to figure out what flies under the radar, and what gets you caught. Like you, I have an established e-commerce site and I tend to be cautious in my SEO efforts. That philosophy has finally paid off since Panda & Penguin.

    Ed
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    Originally Posted by borishar
    I think what google is trying to do is:

    Any SEO = Black hat seo
    Don't tell me your onw of these people that thinks "seo is dead" at least once a year? lol

    OP, there is nothing wrong with having specific pages for different locations be that on a country level or a city level, you just need to make sure you have the content to vouch for having a different page for each location!

    For example, if you sell the same products or services in say Maidstone and Ashford (to locations in the South East UK), it wouldn't vouch for having a separate page for each of those locations.

    On the other hand, if your products or services were different for each location and have stores in those locations and you had the unique content, products, services and so on to place on two different pages it would be fine.

    The sort of sites I believe google to be talking about are those that have the same fine content on many pages with the only change being the location! I believe this was bought up on here last week about a site ranking a page which simply lists the different locations they offer services and each of those pages - you guessed it - had the exact same content, with only the name of the city changing on about 50 pages!

    Now if that's what your doing you don't deserve to rank those pages because its a pointless thing to do for no reason other then trying to game google IMO
    Last edited by NathanielB; Oct 3rd, 2012 at 11:24 AM.
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    I think from Googles point of view your pages ARE deceptive.
    Someone searches for 'Widgets in Whoville' they are not likely to just be looking for any widget company that can ship to whoville but rather a local company.

    I think that kind of thing is something Google is signalling that they don't want to see any more. Amazon can ship anywhere, but when I search for Furniture in Boston I am NOT looking for amazon.

    As a workaround you are going to need unique content for each city page.
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    towns


    This was my worry and looks like most of you guys agree, I can dress it up as much as I like in the fact I do post different information on each page so no 2 pages are the same. Of late I have been adding a lot of local information such as the history and industries within the town so each page is very unique. They make good reading but not really relevant to the products being sold.

    I can go on and on and defend the reasons for doing it but in all honesty the reason for doing such things is to push up these pages in the rankings, so the content is for google and not really for the users.

    I really don't want to see my traffic 1/2 overnight but I guess better than being de-indexed.

    I need to have a very good think about this and a route forward.

    LOL maybe setup a new site with all the historical info I have created about the UK and do some product placement / adverts for the main site oh cant do that as it would then be classed as a micro site

    God this is going to hurt.

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