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A Simple Long-Term SEO Tip for Domainers

Posted on 01 December 2011 by Andrei

Google Panda and other algo changes had devastating results for a lot of webmasters and things will only get “worse”. Even huge players such as ehow.com have implemented changes and they did the right thing in my opinion. The tip I am about to share is valid today and will be valid tomorrow, a month from now, a year from now and so on.

Here it is: do NOT limit yourself to “thin” homepages. If you think that 500 words are enough, think again. If possible, aim for 1,500 words or more. Most of you guys own the exact match domain and through the homepage, you’ll probably be targeting your most important/difficult keyword. Act accordingly.

As far as the other pages are concerned, it would obviously be great if you could have lots of content there as well but if that’s not possible, then at least keep the tip I just shared in mind.

Most people don’t do this, it’s maybe one of the most common mistakes webmasters make. Your homepage is or at least should be special and let’s not forget that if you at least have excellent/unique/authoritative content on the homepage, the likelihood of “surviving” a manual review increases significantly.

That’s it, you’re welcome :)

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19 Comments For This Post

  1. Louise Says:

    Thank you! :)

  2. KevD Says:

    Thanks! Good bit of advice for a newbie.

  3. Mike Says:

    Good Advice. But here’s the question. What if I run a blog. My homepage is constantly changing. Some of the posts will be 100 words or less, sometimes! What would you recommend in this case? Would having some very lenghty permanent post pages help, and put a link to them in the navigation on the sidebar?

  4. Andrei Says:

    @Mike: first of all, be sure to install a duplicate content prevention plugin. You’ll need it since the same content will appear on the homepage, on the category page as well as on the actual post page. You don’t want that. Just perform a google search for a term such as “duplicate content WP plugin” and you’ll be able to find a decent one.

    Now back to your question, here are two solutions I’d recommend:

    1) set a static page with plenty of content as your homepage (you can do this through the WP admin area) and simply have a “blog” section where you’ll display the content that is currently on your homepage

    2) leave your homepage as it is (but don’t forget about the duplicate content prevention plugin) and simply display additional static content below the blog posts

  5. DomainFuze! Says:

    But content galore on the main page just isn’t sexy! Good bit of advice for the ages…

  6. Mike Says:

    Thanks for the advice. But how would you do it for Blogger (BlogSpot) blogs? All of my readers would not be happy to see all my blog posts, below a 1500 article? How could I make this work in your opinion for a Blogger blog?

  7. Andrei Says:

    @Mike: I’m not a huge blogger/blogspot fan and it’s been a looooooooong time since I took a look at their interface, so I’m not sure what they put on the table when it comes to customization.

    The 1,500 words don’t have to be above the blog posts and they don’t even have to be used for just one article. You can add some content on your sidebar, below the blog posts, in the footer area (but don’t try to “hide” it by using a color for the text that is similar to the footer background color because that would do more harm than good) or anywhere else assuming that the CMS you’re using lets you do that.

    The bottom line is this: the homepage should have as much content as possible. As long as the content is unique (ok, some people have generated decent results with content that’s not 100% unique but I wouldn’t recommend using things like spun articles as a long-term strategy) and as long as the homepage doesn’t look spammy, it’s all good.

  8. Ryan O'Meara Says:

    I’ve been experimenting a lot with SEO and word counts. 500 words used to be a good indicator but Google has definitely changed its ranking signal. I get far better results with above 950 words but, funnily enough, if I go above 3,000 words I seem to get less value than if I split articles in to a 3 part, 1,000 word piece.

  9. Ranbir Says:

    Nice piece of advice.
    Any solution for sites other than wordpress to prevent duplicate contents?

  10. Los Angeles Says:

    Great tip, specially the duplicate content plugin. Wasnt aware of its existence. Thanks.

  11. Andrei Says:

    @Ranbir: basically anything that helps you make sure that the same content is not present on multiple pages (in most cases, the homepage + category page + actual post page trio is the problematic one).

    If you use WP, there are several plugins which get the job done. As far as other blogging platforms such as blogger/blogspot are concerned, I’m not sure how things stand. If there are no plugins for duplicate content prevention, you could try limiting yourself to only displaying a paragraph on the homepage like what I do for DomainingTips.com with the “Continue Reading” link, for example.

    Or you can even disable categories altogether if your blogging platform lets you do that and so on but as a first step, perform a google search for terms such as “bloggingplatform123 duplicate content” or “bloggingplatform123 duplicate content plugin” (where bloggingplatform123 is the name of the blogging platform you use) and try to find an easy fix.

  12. Steve Stankiewicz Says:

    Google loves a fast site as well. Be sure to cleanup your .htaccess with Gzip & text file compression, add Canonical tags, interlinking, redirecting non www to www. version, proper headings, emphasis to key terms and about 50 other points we look at per page for my employer.

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