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This is kind of a newbie question, but my boss asked me and I wasn't sure exactly how to answer. Id like to get some opinions from others that have hit this issue before.

Scenario:

We are wanting to purchase a new chain of URLs for a new site expenditure. The #1 goal for my boss is when a customer searches for "This product Miami", or "Miami this product" that our URL will always show up first because the structure of the URL would be indicative of the search term. So if the user searched for "This product Miami", the search result would return

www.thisproductmiami.com

of if they search for "This product new york", it would return

www.thisproductnewyork.com 

So, he is hellbent on getting thisproductnewyork.com, thisproductmiami.com and so on for every major city in the US. So we will end up purchasing a "thisproductthiscity.com" for every city. See my confusion???

To me as a web developer the best way I'd see this working is:

miami.thisproduct.com

newyork.thisproduct.com

That way, the city still searchable, but its all managed and aggregated by one domain.

What would give us the best search results. Purely based on the URL. This would help me out so much, any advice with links to articles or anything covering the subject so I can back it up with docs, would be nice. Thanks in advance.

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Yea, I usually dont ask questions like this. Honestly I wasn't even aware of the other site. Ill try there. Thanks Eduardo. –  Chris May 23 '11 at 19:51
    
No problem! I just found it the other day and it seemed a perfect match. –  Eduardo Ivanec May 24 '11 at 0:35
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migrated from serverfault.com Oct 7 '11 at 17:25

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2 Answers

You can tell your boss that buying all of those domains won't do any good. Your approach, which can also be accomplished using subdirectories instead of subdomains, would be a more practical solution.

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SEO is quite a complex issue and your boss has just picked up on 1 element. Having the target town in the Domain name will help but that's not the whole story by any means. If his plan is to point all these domains at a single site then his thinking is flawed as the sites will appear to google as duplicated content and all the sites would suffer. The other thing you will need to consider is where are you going to host these sites ? from the same IP ?

If he is thinking of building separate sites for each Domain then you will have to do SEO for each and provide content to each, not just a list of products.

The best way of achieving what he is after is to have content for that town/ city and include that into 1 main site, you can create separate pages and use URL Re-writing i.e Yourdomain.com/newyork/product that way any effort put into the site on a SEO front will benefit all the towns to an extent.

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