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Help with new directory. SEO questions as well as business plan.

Discussion in 'Directories' started by ant18290, Jul 21, 2014.

  1. #1
    Hello, Our company is starting a new directory. We have been working on it since may and its coming alone nicely. I do not want to post a link to it, as its not ready for launch and I do not want this post to be associated with it. If anyone would like to view it, feel free to PM me or request link in thread. Now to my questions. We are starting a directory to include all websites, including local businesses websites. Our website has a integrated Geo-location system based on IP and Mobile GPS, and it is linked in with Google maps API. We are trying to break from the old school directory concept and merge with a more modern design and functionality. We have hired some data entry staff to start adding lists. To give you a brief idea of page layout, every website will have it own listing, unlike most directories which have a link and snippet or maybe a bio. Our pages include images(logo mostly), Google maps integration, Facebook integration as well as proprietary commenting system/review, phone numbers, addresses(mostly corporate locations on larger sites), useful features, and a description.
    1. When our data entry staff enters descriptions, should they custom write a 2-3 paragraph bio on the site. I understand it will take longer, but SEO wise will it be more worth it.
    My understanding is that its better to have 10,000 unique content descriptions over 1,000,000 copy and pasted ones. Also, will copy and pasting descriptions the descriptions from say wiki exclude these listings from Google's index. Also, would using a spinning tool be harmful to help our staff rewrite descriptions? Any advice on the subject of listing formatting will be greatly appreciated as well as overall strategy. Anyone who would like to be involved let me know, we are going live soon.

    2. We also have an adult site, with a similar purpose. Would there be SEO benefits of running it on its own sub-domain and its own software base. this is our current plan, we plan on linking the databases and adding a feature to allow users to find adult content that way. Our understanding is that this will help us avoid the Google trashcan.

    3. We have about 3000 categories so far, but they do not contain any meta data yet, how beneficial is it to custom write and add meta data such as descriptions?
    ant18290, Jul 21, 2014 IP
  2. ladymacbeth9

    ladymacbeth9 Well-Known Member

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    It has been my experience-- and I do write content and manage a larger content writing site so this may be partly prejudice and partly experience--, but in my seo business clean fresh content is always a better experience for the customer and a better draw for the search engines. I've really stopped doing anything that is under 150 words but I don't think 3 paragraphs.. which is approximately 300 words, is really necessary.. Description wise, our company just recently redid a carpet site that has more than a thousand products. The company had essentially copied and pasted the descriptions from the ones that the parent companies used . The site was not doing well in search. As soon as we began to add clean content, the pages and carpet pieces that had clean content began to rise while the others remained the same. As we add 50 or 100 pieces of content at a time to replace what is there that is duplicated over and over in a thousand carpet company sites online, the pages continue to break out and rise, which to me is an excellent case study in why clean, original content is necessary and how it can help your pages move forward nearly immediately. I would say that making descriptions of about 200 words would be sufficient on your directory and could be done fairly rapidly. Meta tags, I hear it both ways. I personally don't think they count immensely but I believe that to some extent they do. I also don't think they hurt a thing so I incorporate them as a just in case measure.
    ladymacbeth9, Jul 21, 2014 IP
  3. cblanke

    cblanke Well-Known Member

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    Hi ant18290,

    Yes you would want a unique title and description for every listing in your directory. You will not want to copy and paste anything as it would look to google as if it was copied and not unique content. In my opinion a spinning tool would not be a good choice as it does not give you quality content as spinners never work right and you want a site with good quality content not listed anywhere on the net.

    In the long run it would be worth the extra time for your staff to create quality unique content.

    As far as the adult site, it would be best to run it on its own domain. You could use the same software as the directory if that is what you mean but would probably want a different template and design.

    About the meta data it is always a good idea as that is what the search engines use to show your listing on the search page.

    I would like to take a look at your site if you can pm me the URL. ;)
    cblanke, Jul 21, 2014 IP
  4. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    Saying things like "We are trying to break from the old school directory concept and merge with a more modern design and functionality." and then asking about using descriptions from Wikipedia, rewriting and spinning don't work for me. Google maps, company contact information and Facebook integration is not all that unique. Pair it with spun or copied content and you definitely don't have something new.

    Longer descriptions offer something of value but not if they are simply cut/pasted from another site.

    "include all websites, including local businesses websites" - bad idea #2. General directories are a dime a dozen. Wikipedia descriptions would mean you want to salt your site with large companies. Your statement makes it sound like local business are somehow less desirable, when in fact, they often make for a better directory.

    Meta descriptions are used by Google. Why would you even think of not including them?

    Yes, I'm being cynical here. You've invested several months into your project and you are looking for shortcuts on the most important part of your site - the content. You'll be throwing away everything you've invested if you cut too many corners now.
    YMC, Jul 22, 2014 IP
  5. ant18290

    ant18290 Peon

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    I am not taking any shortcuts, if you knew what is going into this site you would realize you are mistaken by my wording. Basically this thread stems of some debates the staff had and I am doing some fact finding. We do not pull/scrape any information from wikipedia. I had staff using them to copy information and felt it would not be appropriate for our purpose, but I was looking to see if the negative consequences were as severe as
    I anticipated(being complete ignored by index) or if there were cases were it would work.
    As for listings, we have made the decision to have custom written descriptions only. No copy and paste, but not books about them.

    As for local businesses, Our main focus is local businesses (that have websites). Right now we are focusing on the top sites because it makes the site approachable for users, but the end goal is for the user to search for say honda diy forums and also be shown local results. We have not nailed down exactly how we are going to execute this. Our website is 100% Bootstrap/LESS with ElasticSearch running our search engine. Our idea is quite different, as I cannot find any other sites even close to what we are planning.
    ant18290, Jul 22, 2014 IP