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Old 06-09-2006   #1
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Subdomain Spamming Good or Bad?

Curiously, I am considering jumping on board the sub domain spamming train. It seems that this is the one area that search engines still have not figured out how to stop and it seems to bring success to big sites. Actaully it seems like Google and Yahoo actually favor sites with subdomains.

What are the advantages / disadvantages? Anyone do this currently?
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Old 06-09-2006   #2
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The advantage is that it truely do work miracles these day
The disadvantage is that it might stop very soon and when it does it may hit you bad.

So, don't play with fire if you scream when you get burned
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Old 06-09-2006   #3
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Hopoing Subdomains get snubbed out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikkel deMib Svendsen
The advantage is that it truely do work miracles these day
The disadvantage is that it might stop very soon and when it does it may hit you bad.

So, don't play with fire if you scream when you get burned
I never used them before, because I kept hearing that search engines were on the look out, but after continually seeing superpages and hundreds of other big sites using subdomains favored by google and yahoo it seemed like a good way to go.
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Old 06-10-2006   #4
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Is Spamming Good or Bad

What a funny question....?

Lets re-write this,

If I am bad will I go to heaven?
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Old 06-10-2006   #5
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Quote:
If I am bad will I go to heaven?
With that you are assuming that so called "Search Engine Spamming" (a term I do not personally accept as it stand - I see it more as a HOAX brilliantly planted by the engines to redirect attention from the fact that they can't produce acceptable search results all the time. But that is really another discussion ). Even if you accept the term, many people will question if this kind of "spam" is really bad
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Old 06-11-2006   #6
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Oh! Good Point

If I read you correctly, Spamming is Good as long as search engines can't detect it, Bad when you get caught!

Reminds me of Quote from Charles Bukowski, "Its not that I dont like cops, I just feel better when their not around."

So in order to rank Hi, Spamming is okay..cuz the cops can't find it.

Whats you web site?
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Old 06-11-2006   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
If I read you correctly, Spamming is Good as long as search engines can't detect it, Bad when you get caught!

Reminds me of Quote from Charles Bukowski, "Its not that I dont like cops, I just feel better when their not around."

So in order to rank Hi, Spamming is okay..cuz the cops can't find it.

Whats you web site?
I guess that would depend on whether you call forums.searchenginewatch.com "spam" simply because it is a subdomain of the root rather than being in the root itself?

Frankly I would say that whether it's in the root or not... spam is as spam does!
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Old 06-11-2006   #8
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Quote:
If I read you correctly, Spamming is Good as long as search engines can't detect it, Bad when you get caught!

Reminds me of Quote from Charles Bukowski, "Its not that I dont like cops, I just feel better when their not around."

So in order to rank Hi, Spamming is okay..cuz the cops can't find it.

Whats you web site?
Funny, but that's not how I read it at all. And even though you have excellent taste in literature

Charles Bukowski

Asking what anyone's web site is, is out of order and none of your concern. If you really want to know what anyone's site is, PM them and ask them personally. I suggest that giving your reasons for wanting to know might make your request more palatable.

Back on topic, subdomains are fine when properly used, and are often a very logical, user-friendly means of organizing a large site.

Spammy ones good or bad? There's an upside and a downside to everything in life, with few exceptions. Some of the best minds in the world are employed as search engineers, and as long as there's search engine spam those fine people are guaranteed long-term employment with high pay and good fringe benefits.
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Old 06-11-2006   #9
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Quote:
So in order to rank Hi, Spamming is okay..cuz the cops can't find it.
I just don't think "spam" is a very relevant term. I do not ask the engines to come and "steal" my content (I just accept it) and I do not "push" anything to the engines. If anyone is spamming here it's the engines!

All I do is publish totally legal stuff on my own webserver in my own country. I totally fail to see how that can have any releation to spam, as we usually know it and as defined by a few search companies in California.

To "spam" someone takes and active part on your side, I believe, such as the case with email spam. What I am doing is just publishing - making something available for users and spiders alike on my webserver. I am not pushing it to anyone. If that breaks some guidelines from a company on the other side of the world, honestly I don't really care - they are free to use it or not.

I accept that the engines come around and steal my content (which is basically a violation of my copyrights!) only because I found out many years ago, that if I understand how the engines work I can tweak the stolen goods they get, around for my own benifit. I get leads and customers in return. That makes it an acceptable "deal" to me. However, it is a deal with no obligations on either side - the engines don't promise to keep me in the index or rank me high, and I don't promise I will follow their guidelines.
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Old 06-11-2006   #10
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subdomain.... Er... manipulation?

Okay, it seems that Marcia kept us on topic here. Perhaps "SPAM" was a bad choice of words because it's an objectionable term and open to interpretation. Everyone has their idea of what spam is and the most recent post by Mikkell is a bit humorous for sure

Let me rephrase this a bit...

I understand that subdomains are a good way to catagorize a large site, especially if the content is similar, but not exactly on target. I suppose this is a totally legitimate way to use them and for some big sites, (perhaps several thousand pages and up), it's probably too late to do it any other way.

Subdomains provide the site owners or managers to take advantage of search engines weakness to "see" the sites as seperate or individual, which provides the site using subdomains to possibly appear more than twice (the 2 page from any site rule), in any one relevancy result report.

What I feel is becoming ever more apparent, is when a manipulative site owner/manager notices a pattern in the search result he/she has accomplished while using a combination of subdomain+metas+content. Since that combination was successful, they create page after page, (either machine generated or done with the help of interns or maybe themselves), of geo targeted, or topic targeted pages which other than the basic structure are empty, yet the search engines perceive them as highly relevant.

So I guess my thought is not so much if I'm bad will I go to Heaven, but more along the lines of "If I incorporate subdomain practice" (I have a large hand-built directory / not MFA or MFYSS where this would probably be ideal), "is the general consensus that it could":
A) Improve Search Performance...
B) Improve but only short term...
C) Makes no difference... Don't Bother

Quote:
<edited by mod. We do allow discussions of search engine spam in general, such as whether particular tactics or content might be considered spam. In these discussions, we do not allow linking to a particular page or a particular search query to be used as examples in the discussion. >
The other form of what I consider subdomain spam is of course those pages that offer no valuable content but instead are using some kind of "catch all" device so no matter what you type in, the site says: "Find XYZ at this site", or "Find the best deal on ABC at this site". Perhaps MFA and MFYSS are good examples, but I've seen EBay do it and other sites... You search for some abstract thing and surprisingly EBay claims to have "iT"...

Last edited by Chris_D : 06-11-2006 at 01:35 PM. Reason: Please read our SEW Spam reporting policy. See http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/faq.php?faq=code_of_conduct#faq_spam-reporting
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Old 06-11-2006   #11
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Sub.domains

This is a break down of Yahoo traffic, if they used different domain names for each product their overall traffic would be less and they would not be ranked number one. That is why Google went into the g-mail business, as a result it has moved them from 3rd to 2nd position in overall traffic.

All about traffic numbers!

mail.yahoo.com - 54%
search.yahoo.com - 9%
news.yahoo.com - 3%
bid.yahoo.com - 3%
login.yahoo.com - 3%
yahoo.com - 2%
finance.yahoo.com - 2%
auctions.yahoo.com - 1%
groups.yahoo.com - 1%
sports.yahoo.com - 1%
knowledge.yahoo.com - 1%
photos.yahoo.com - 1%
music.yahoo.com - 1%
stock.yahoo.com - 1%
games.yahoo.com - 1%
my.yahoo.com - 1%
profiles.yahoo.com - 1%
messages.yahoo.com - 1%
store.yahoo.com - 1%
fantasysports.yahoo.com - 1%
dictionary.yahoo.com - 1%
club.yahoo.com - 1%
personals.yahoo.com - 1%
wrs.yahoo.com - 1%
movies.yahoo.com - 1%
Other websites - 6%
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Old 06-11-2006   #12
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Subdomains work very well at the moment. No doubt about that. I can take aprominent, old, domain, set up a brand new subdomain, add one link from the original domans front page, throw up whatever content I want and within days have plenty of traffic. These days it sems that almost all linkpop value from the original domain is transfered - and I see this happening in both MSn and Google.

However, I am pretty sure that this will change - so it might only work for a short time. And, if what you put on those subdomains is pure crap there is a risk that it will hurt not only the su bdomain but also the top domain.

Subdomains will stay around for years to come - probably forever. Its an important part of domain structures on many sites. If used for good reasons I don't think it will hurt you but the super good results you see right now may fade out.
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Old 06-11-2006   #13
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SubDomain Advice Assimilated

Thanks everyone.
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Old 06-12-2006   #14
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Quote:
I can take aprominent, old, domain, set up a brand new subdomain, add one link from the original domans front page, throw up whatever content I want and within days have plenty of traffic.
Mikkel, do you have any experience where the subdomain does not have a link from the original domain but instead has just external links from other sites?
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Old 06-12-2006   #15
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No, I haven't actually tested that. I have had some with just the front page link and some with additional external links but not only the external links. However, one thing I'd like to try out is remove that front page link and have nothing else, after it has been indexed to se if it will still inherrit the values from the mother-domain ...
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Old 06-12-2006   #16
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Thanks Mikkel.

I know of someone who is thinking of trying that. They wanted my opinion on it but I had no experience or thoughts on it.
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Old 06-12-2006   #17
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I'm all geeked up on the subdomains, w00t!

Oh, sub domains are given so much arbitrary value it seems funny...

I’ve got a client who has their products and shopping cart hosted on a sub domain of a very respected industry directory as well as a stand-alone domain. At first impression I thought that the interconnection between the two sites would be a big problem, but I had to roll with it because the client is a little stubborn.

I ended up just treating the two different sites as one and linking them together indiscriminately. When all was said and done the owned domain was purely informational and linked heavily to the hosted sub domain which was pure eCommerce.

Two months later, the two sites (if you can really call them that) had unbelievable saturation for their most competitive terms. Four or more SERPs on in the first of page results including supplemental. The results are fairly consistent between G, Y! and MSN if you can believe that.

I'd hate to say it never happens, but seeing a company saturate SERPs like that was very impressive.

Incidentally, the hosted sub domain is linked repeatedly from its parent URL.

I would do this for all of my clients if the directory wasn’t so darn picky over who they'll include. They also charge $8k /year for their hosted cart services so this is not for everybody.
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Old 06-12-2006   #18
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Subdomains Sink or Swim?

We are redeveloping a site that has an incredible domain name, makes an excellent keyword, and is applicable to Vacation rentals, real estate and timeshare. All major segments by themselves.
The content is divided into destinations, i.e. Orlando, Scottsdale, Las Vegas, etc.. While the format is the same the content is all unique to the area.
For brandability and ease of marketing we want to set up the new site as subD's:
Orlando.Keyword.com/VacationRentals
Orlando.Keyword.com/RealEstate
etc.
This way ends up with hundreds of subs and three main directories.

Going with RealEstate.Keyword.com/Orlando amy make sense to some but just doesn't help with marketing too much.

All the subs reside on the root site and are accessible from every page.
Thing is, we will end up with appx 200 sub domains when all is said and done.
The concern is that the engines may look at this as spamming, even though it is all unique content. This site is way to valuable to risk a black list rating.

Seems there are as many opinions on this as there are people to ask it of. Trying to find an agreed upon opinion.
Anyone care to help out?
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Old 06-13-2006   #19
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Similar Boat As Me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Webdog
We are redeveloping a site that has an incredible domain name, makes an excellent keyword, and is applicable to Vacation rentals, real estate and timeshare. All major segments by themselves.
The content is divided into destinations, i.e. Orlando, Scottsdale, Las Vegas, etc.. While the format is the same the content is all unique to the area.
For brandability and ease of marketing we want to set up the new site as subD's:
Orlando.Keyword.com/VacationRentals
Orlando.Keyword.com/RealEstate
etc.
This way ends up with hundreds of subs and three main directories.

Going with RealEstate.Keyword.com/Orlando amy make sense to some but just doesn't help with marketing too much.

All the subs reside on the root site and are accessible from every page.
Thing is, we will end up with appx 200 sub domains when all is said and done.
The concern is that the engines may look at this as spamming, even though it is all unique content. This site is way to valuable to risk a black list rating.

Seems there are as many opinions on this as there are people to ask it of. Trying to find an agreed upon opinion.
Anyone care to help out?
Webdog, That's pretty much my situation as well. I started the thread trying to figure out if it was good, bad, risky etc... While not having the inside scoop on what is to be, I would venture to say that for the here and now it can help, but search engines are wise to it... I checked for subdomains that are use in my industry and the number 1 site for everything does NOT use them, the # 2 site for everything DOES use them... # 2 site has 5 million pages incl all the subdomains. Trouble is, the search engines don'r give much "page Rank" value to the subs.... Except Yahoo of course becasue they are so unpredictable. At Yhaoo, they will show the same subdomaining site 6/10 top 10 listings, with a dash of real competition and a couple of useles home pages from geocities or tripod for flavor.
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Old 06-13-2006   #20
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Nice to have company in this quest. I was feeling kind of lonely in my search for an answer. Seems like this question is the Holy Grail, at least for us.
No real answer on the horizon.

You know, it seems to me that the use of subDs is fine and a valid thing to do, provided the intent is pure. My hunch is that at some point all the folks using subDs for the wrong reasons will get snubbed for it.

But, there are enough big sites with time and money invested in a certain subD architecture that I can't see it simply banned outright. However, when the filtering begins it can be pretty blind as to your intent.

So far, I am guessing we take our chances and build with as clean a purpose as we can; unique content, clear reason, etc.. Might not hurt to have some of the subs on different IPs, although that could become a flag to.
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