The value of descriptive URLs?

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by PaperCutter, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,996

    Every once in a while I get emails from people trying to sell me domains like or whatever. Is there SEO value in these, enough to justify the cost (usually $150-500) and the time to do redirects, etc?
  2. Ben Bowen

    Ben Bowen LawnSite Bronze Member
    from PNW
    Messages: 1,182

    Any SEO value they have is diminishing all the time. Google does not reward EMD's the way they used to. Now, if someone offers you a URL that has a long history, lots of links, PageRank, and maybe even some traffic- then it might be worth listening.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,915

    If you're looking at it from the standpoint of using those domains as micro sites or landing pages to capture traffic and then funnel them to your primary site, the only way I currently see value in them is to actively curate them so that they, too, rank highly. To me, I'm not a fan of creating additional work, when you can accomplish similar within your current site. I'm currently working with someone in a similar situation. A primary site with 10 or so EMD micro sites trying to capture rank and pass traffic to the primary. After installing Analytics, monitoring traffic for a couple of months, I ultimately came up with the hard data to support my original assertion to them, which is they're just wasting time when they could be ranking their own domain, and, more important to me, their brand. ranks high, so why not rank that high for other cities and keywords, instead of cannibalizing your brand by ranking

    As Headz points out, the value of EMDs seems to be dropping all the time (Matt Cutts likes to tell us this, however Google likes to say a lot of things don't work or have little value. In the wild, we see differently.), although I do think there is still value to them. A legitimate, optimized site, with an EMD, seems to have a bit of an easier time than a non-EMD, but I would still have no qualms with having to rank instead of the EMD of If you can rank a site, you can rank a site. Or page...

    If the domains/sites have useful traffic, pagerank, and a legitimately good URL, $500 is a small investment. The trick is getting them to convert at your primary site or strengthen your core brand.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013
  4. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,996

    Makes sense. There was a local guy KILLING it in search results back when I started. He had EMDs for a lot of relevant searches (, etc) BUT if I recall he had the same content on every domain's site. He's not killing it now. I have my hands full maintaining and writing content for my main site, I'm good. Thanks!
  5. Blade Runners

    Blade Runners LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,021

    Low quality EMD sites seem to get punished by the Penguin 2 algo. Either that, or alot of emphasis was taken off of EMDs and placed elsewhere such as content.

    In our area we had one EMD that was consistently #1 for a few serch terms. They were using an EMD as a landing page but the page had very little content. Now they are half way down page 2 for the same search terms after Penguin 2.

    Sites that do have quality and unique content seem to be fine after the Penguin 2 update. How much it adds to ranking is anyones guess as Google doesn't publish specific ranking criteria. The bottom line is, now there are other things that carry more weight than just an EMD.

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