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I've purchased a domain. I'm in the process of creating the website for that domain. This may take about a month.

In the mean time, what is the smartest thing to do with that domain, in terms of SEO?

For example, should I send a 204 No Content HTTP header? I know that's not the right thing to do but what is? I know that simply having a "Coming Soon" page is also bad for SEO.

Any advice?

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New domain address, or did it blog to someone else before? –  guisasso Jan 25 '13 at 0:23
    
It's a new domain. –  Housni Jan 25 '13 at 12:22
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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Where do you get the idea that a "Coming Soon" placeholder is bad for SEO? If all the page says is "coming soon" then I would agree with you but there's no reason why your coming soon page can't have:

  • Descriptive text of what is coming soon and anticipated services/content
  • Links to social media accounts and/or Twitter embed
  • Subscription form to notify users when the site is live or when development milestones are hit

The only limit here is time, imagination, and willingness to put effort into it. But don't take my word for it - listen to what Cutts has to say about it.

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I agree with you, but if he has purchased an existing domain name that's well ranked for some content, the removal of that content will negatively impact his website. –  guisasso Jan 25 '13 at 1:50
    
If he's going to remove the content anyway... –  JCL1178 Jan 25 '13 at 1:58
    
Ok, but answering his question, if he has content and he removes it and posts a "coming soon" page, yes it will hurt. If not, everything in your answer is correct. –  guisasso Jan 25 '13 at 2:30
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It's a brand new domain. +1 and an accept for linking me to the Google Wedmasters video. –  Housni Jan 25 '13 at 12:25
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It all depends. As those above mentioned, if you bought a domain with existing content, you need to simply preserve the existing content until you're ready to go.

If it's a new domain, I recommend 2 things:

  1. Create a landing page to sign up for more info. Give a description of what the site will be, and have a one-step signup form. Also link to...

  2. Your site's blog. If this project is in any way about a product or a service or an app, you'll want to be putting out some content on occasion. So go ahead and install Wordpress at http://www.mydomain.com/blog, and start blogging on topics that would be relevant to your target audience for the site (once it's finished). Grab an off-the-shelf free Wordpress template for now - you can always redesign later. (And make sure your landing page with the form is linked from every page on the blog.)

If you go this route, not only are you capturing potential future users on the homepage (and giving them some more info that can only help your SEO), but you're also getting a headstart on SEO by creating content that will be of value to you for as long as your site exists.

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It's a brand new domain. I'll definitely consider your suggestions. +1 for the details. –  Housni Jan 25 '13 at 12:26
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