I've been trying to learn SEO in more detail recently. A client of mine has a site competing in 2 specific states - Illinois and New York.
Both on Google and SEMRush, the top keyword phrase for my client's competitor's home page is very successfully #1 all of the time and it appears to be due to the way the competitor's links are including city names to what appears to be a single page.
For example, using a Google search term of
malpractice attorney chicago returns the competitor as #1 to a page with a URI of
I see on that page there is a blurb saying "Serving the following Illinois cities:" and then an entire paragraph of links to popular cities in Illinois - Springfield, Moline, Rock Island, etc.
Each of those city links is a unique URL to the same, exact page:
... /malpractice-attorney-chicago/ ... /malpractice-attorney-chicago-il/ ... /malpractice-attorney-illinois/ ... /malpractice-attorney-springfield/ etc, etc.
I haven't checked, but I suppose there's also a valid link to just /malpractice-attorney/ as well.
This seems to be very effective for the competitor in Google's results. In looking at the other content on the competitor's page I see that they mention
attorney over and over again. Looking at the competitor's keywords it seems they rely primarily on 4 variations of their keywords:
malpractice attorney chicago (85% of their traffic) malpractice attorney chicago il malpractice attorney illinois chicago malpractice attorney
I don't know what this is called in terms of SEO - where many links are created that point to the same page. Actually, I thought SEO was more sophisticated in this particular area.
Of course, my client mentions in his content that he is a malpractice attorney serving the Chicago, Il area - but this doesn't seem to pull the weight like an actual link to a page with the city name in the URI.
So my question is, does this actually help the competitor's rankings when searching for malpractice attorney in specific cities? Is it legal with Google?
Assuming this is valid competitive strategy and in this case both sites are WordPress, what is this called so I can track down how to do this also?