I continue updating you on SEO case studies here to promote idea sharing with our readers. HighRankings forums recently discussed an SEO case when a person had to optimize for 50 states and reviewed potential pros and cons of the following possible steps to take:
- creating separate 50 domains;
- creating separate 50 subdomains;
- creating 50 pages each optimized for a separate state.
In any case, that’s a hard case. Whatever technique may be chosen, plenty of challenges open up:
- Separate domains: apart from a real headache to maintain, this approach would be unbelievably expensive and take too much time. Managing 50 domains, hosting them, building links without being suspected of spamming the index will be too hard to make sense. Sure, with time and money at hand this method would be the most effective, I guess: promoting each separate site locally would be a win-win when done right.
- 50 subdomains would be not much easier to manage and promote than in the above case plus you have more chances to be penalized for spamming the index.
- Optimizing 50 pages internally would be the option I’d probably go with – to me it looks the wisest thing to do (not in each case, of course). First, it is easier and faster and looks natural; besides, you can get full advantage of internal anchor text (with the above two methods interlinking wouldn’t be possible in order not to create a “malicious” network). Surely, I see a few serious disadvantages with this method as well: with so many keywords to target, you should avoid over-optimization of internal anchor text that can get you penalized. Besides, not every company (take e-Commerce site for example) can afford so much focus on locally targeted pages.