The Good Advice: The webinar, conducted by IMSD recommended that real estate agents need 4 different websites…Buyers Site, Sellers Site, Hyper-Local Site and Niche Site. This is sound advice except that they were touting greatly the importance of setting up these sites through WordPress.com as free blogs customized with templates. WordPress for your website is a wonderful platform that can be optimized with numerous plug-ins and most of the templates are easy to navigate. Using the free WordPress blog platform to set up your 4 sites, though, is a different story. Which brings us to…
The Bad Advice: To reiterate, you can go to WordPress.com and set up your very own blog site absolutely free. Wordpress became such a popular blog platform that it then became available as an actual website platform with SEO and advanced customization capabilities. Setting up your website with its own URL and uploading WordPress as your content management system is A-OK. However, using the free WordPress.com blog platform to set up your multiple sites as the aforementioned webinar suggested is not recommended! A couple of years back, it worked. Now, it doesn’t.
Simply put, the free WordPress.com blog platform is so easy to use that (like other easy to use tools) it has been abused by spammers and black-hat marketers to the point where Google does not index those blogs the way it once did. What happened, in a nutshell, was that people would set up their own regular website and then set up multiple free WordPress.com blog pages for the sole purpose of creating links back to their main website. Done in moderation, this wouldn’t have been a problem.
Unfortunately, these blog pages were set up in ludicrous numbers as “link wheels” which led to the Panda update last year wherein Google changed their indexing of the WordPress.com blog sites. Simply put, Google doesn’t give much attention to these sites anymore and if you follow the strategy laid out in the above referenced webinar you will hurt your indexing and SEO by giving the appearance of black hat marketing.
If you want to create multiple sites, buy the URL’s and get proper hosting for the sites. Yes, it’s not free but it’s also not going to cost you an arm and a leg.
And it’s well worth the small investment:)
For more tips and advice on your SEO and Internet marketing, drop me a line.