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I love my job. I have the best possible job for who I am. I like to help people. Case in point, I was returning phone calls and one of my return calls was a young lady from class on Wednesday. I could tell from class she had a rudimentary SEO knowledge, you know,  knows enough to know how not to step on a landmine and can run the basic SEO for her company. Light years ahead of most, but still has a rudimentary working knowledge.

The call went something like this. “I have a friend who hired a webmaster and the webmaster wants to build a microsite for each location. And I thought that was a red flag.” So lets say this, there are many many different opinions on microsites, but I personally have never been a fan of them. And I really don’t think Google is a fan of them either. Most people don’t use microsites right and often are using them to game the system.

There was a time that it could be argued to have a focused website, and there are still times that a client has too diverse an offering that two sites is the right decision, but three sites just because of three different locations is not a good reason. Each site will require the same amount of work, so it triples the resources needed. For a local business it seemed like overkill.

Next question on topic was the domain itself, and we agreed. The caller wanted to change the domain. Domain was from ’06 and has a DA of a 30, and reasonable links for a local site. We advised against it.  The web designer did have the sense enough to know he needed to keep the domain. Now I wonder if it will get flipped properly. The objections had to do with the present domain not matching the Business’ name, and the way I left that one was that if you do your Google Local right, most of the problems would work themselves out. I told the caller based on our conversation I felt they were heading for a mess.

The next was the inclusion of keywords in the ‘new’ domain they wanted to purchase. So we have a 10 year old site that isn’t an exact match, and we have a brand spanking new domain that has no marketing, branding, or any other outside signals to support it. My opinion was that it was not a great idea. So they asked me about a variant that abbreviated the keywords, but then I said the domain out loud, it was obviously a very bad domain. And why make some weird variant when you have a perfectly good domain? So I said no to the EMD.

This story did highlight to me how different the levels of SEO knowledge is out there. And that for the end user, how DOES he know what the guy knows what he’s talking about? I hear so many convoluted theories of what SEO is or isn’t. Everyone has an opinion, but there is really no guidepost to help people determine who does and doesn’t know.

I walked away from my conversation today feeling pretty good. The caller had enough information not to make a bad decision, and they told me they would be attending my SEO classes. So I’m going to open this up for opinion. Did the designer guy tell the caller right? Did I tell the caller right? Feel free to weigh in.

Beth Guide - ACTWD