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  1. #1
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    Different pages made up for each town I service

    I've noticed that other contractors use a system on their website in which they list a lot of towns that they service at the bottom of the page, and some of them are links to pages that have the city name inserted into it at various spots. But everything else on the page is the same except for the city name. They do this with about 10-15 cities.

    Is this a good idea? If so, how exactly should it be done, what rules should I follow?

    Or will this look like duplicate pages to search engines since most of it is the same except for the city name?

  2. #2
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    If you go down that route, you should make sure you have enough content that is specific to each city to warrant a separate page - eg, if you have a branch in each city then you can give the address, phone number and map, maybe a brief profile of the branch manager or team, as well as the generic information. That way, each page is actually adding some value and looks less like spam. While the other approach may work today, there's no guarantee that it won't suffer a big penalty tomorrow, and that isn't a risk you want to take.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie D View Post
    If you go down that route, you should make sure you have enough content that is specific to each city to warrant a separate page - eg, if you have a branch in each city then you can give the address, phone number and map, maybe a brief profile of the branch manager or team, as well as the generic information. That way, each page is actually adding some value and looks less like spam. While the other approach may work today, there's no guarantee that it won't suffer a big penalty tomorrow, and that isn't a risk you want to take.
    Thank you, this is exactly what I was wondering.

    I don't have different branches in different cities. I'm just an electrician who serves a large area. I will have to try and figure out how to make them different.

  4. #4
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    I found yet another question


    My revised plan was to make a copy of the homepage with the main information but insert the city name into it often as well as add a couple paragraphs of city info. Would this be enough of a change to not hurt my ranking?


    Second, I was going to name each one of these pages mywebsite.com/cityname_electrician.php. However, I have seen other contractor's websites and they seem to always to it like this: theirwebsite.com/cityname_electrician/index.php

    For my own curiosity, is there a difference whether you make it just another webpage in the same directory as the others, or if you make the page the index page of it's own directory?

  5. #5
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MechElec View Post
    My revised plan was to make a copy of the homepage with the main information but insert the city name into it often as well as add a couple paragraphs of city info. Would this be enough of a change to not hurt my ranking?
    I don't know that I could recommend doing that. The main reason being, you're trying to cheat the system. You don't have content that lends itself to a separate page for each city because it is generic across the area you serve. The danger with fabricating content that you have no need for is that Google gets smarter, decides you are trying to cheat and smacks you with a huge penalty.

    Second, I was going to name each one of these pages mywebsite.com/cityname_electrician.php. However, I have seen other contractor's websites and they seem to always to it like this: theirwebsite.com/cityname_electrician/index.php

    For my own curiosity, is there a difference whether you make it just another webpage in the same directory as the others, or if you make the page the index page of it's own directory?
    In terms of SEO, it makes no odds. In terms of usability for other people, it may be slightly easier to use folder names, because that way they don't need to include a file extension (eg they could just type in example.com/cityname_electrician and ignore the /index.php), but you can replicate that with Options +MultiViews if you go for file names. In terms of usability for you, it's almost certainly easier to have file names rather than folder names ... because if you go for folder names then all your files are just called index.php, which makes them a PITA to manage!

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy PicnicTutorials's Avatar
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    If I were to do this I would put each site in a subdomain sub.maindomain.com. And each site would have unique content. If you do that there would not be any seo damage. The benifit being you could target each city with the keywords in the domain.

  7. #7
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    As Stevie D mentioned there is no real SEO difference between subdomains and folders, so choose the method that is easiest for you to configure and maintain.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MswMYk05tk
    Wordpress Auto Installer
    www.webproco.com

  8. #8
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    I have found that a lot of contracting style businesses seem to get away with things that would spell a penalty on Google in other markets. I think this is simply because some markets are a lot more saturated with 'pro' SEO than others. In any case, the point is that just because your competition is doing something and ranking doesn't mean that's WHY they're ranking, in fact it may be something that eventually gets them penalized. Be on the safe side and use unique content for all your pages.


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