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What’s your opinion on microsites?

What’s your opinion on microsites? - answered by Matt Cutts

Matt's answer:

Today’s question comes from [? Gommflow. ?] [? Commflow ?] is asking, what’s your opinion about microsites who target specific topics? Let’s say, a key word like spy cam for nanny and the domain name, spycamfornanny. Is it bad? I think if I had to express my ideas, I would go with the recent post that Vanessa Fox did. The title of her post was, Microsites– A Bad Idea Most of The Time. And I think she explained it very well. It was very long post. I encourage you to go read it. But essentially she said, look, the amount of time that you’re putting into individual microsites is probably relatively low. So you’re not giving a lot of love, a lot of care, a lot of attention, and as a result that sometimes comes through. If you’re developing, you know, 500 different sites, you don’t really have the time to put loving polish on each individual site. What I would recommend instead is typically to build up one site that can be known as an authority or can be known as the brand name in that particular area. You can certainly try microsites, but a lot of times they don’t necessarily rank all that well. They can be a little harder to build up the reputation for, people don’t always want to link to them. So there’s a lot of reasons why. Sometimes you forget to renew the domain name. If you’re a large company and maybe you’re doing, like, a Super Bowl promotion, do you want those links going to that other domain or do you want those links going to your own domain? Most of the time you probably want it coming to your own domain. So it’s a lot less overhead in terms of managing. Everything’s all in one spot so you can configure things a little more easily. So for me, personally, based on the experience that I’ve had– seen a lot of spammy sites over the last 10 years– whenever people are putting a little more attention into a smaller set of sites, in my experience it tends to do better and stand the test of time a little more than if somebody’s just churning out a ton of these so-called microsites. So my advice, personally, would be lean a little more towards developing a site that people can remember or bookmark or tell their friends about rather than just some site that exactly fills the two key words that you’re trying to optimize for.

by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team


Original video: