Lee Odden

Misguided SEO Advice

Lee Odden     SEO

I received an inquiry this morning that really was typical of what I’ve been hearing from really small companies looking into SEO that get their information from sources that have little to do with SEO. I hope it’s not too indicative of what web developers and hosting companies advise their clients on search engine optimization.  So many small businesses are challenged to find a reliable source of information on SEO. It’s discouraging when they get bad information that doesn’t work and then get a bad impression of SEO as a tactic.

The inquiry:

Wondering if you can point me in the right direction here or if you have any other sources that might work better. I’ve been working on learning more about getting noticed online. My webhost suggested we buy some additional URL’s and write up a landing page for each with a somewhat repetitive description that forwards right to the home page without being seen.

So that’s all done and now I’m looking into getting them submitted to the search engines. He suggested [bulk submission software]and [bulk submission web site], just wondering if you had an opinion on these or had a better idea. We bought about 20 url’s, many including our geographic area in the URL such as [geourl], [geourl].

I’m not sure how much action they’ll get even if submitted regularly, any thoughts? Thanks for your help.

My response:

Your web host is full of beans and is suggesting that you engage in tactics that most search engines consider spamming. What’s been done with the "landing pages" can get your main site removed from search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN.

It’s not necessary to submit a site to the top search engines anyway – especially if your site is already indexed. What IS important is adding useful content to your main site and getting links from other respected web sites with related content. Consider keywords that are important to your target audience in the content you create, in the way you organize your site and in the links from other web sites.

If you want to know more about search engine guidelines, my suggestion would be to get the information from the source:

Ask Jeeves 

You can also get very good information from Search Engine Watch and here’s a Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization.

Of course, we could help you effective tactics that are in compliance with the search engines’ guidelines if you didn’t want to do it yourself.

In situations like this, I feel obligated to offer our services, but I really hope they find a SEO consultant that offers training for smaller projects or figure it out on their own. This isn’t about white hat – black hat BS either, it’s about making the right recommendation that best serves the company, the search engines and the SEO industry.  In the end, this situation turned out well. They did not engage in submitting the doorway pages and I referred them to a local SEO who will be able to help them according to their budget and has experience with the target market.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Hi there

    Many people who have no reason to have annointed themselves SEOs have but a fraction of the knowledge to offer advice to people and this is what gives the few of us in the industry who are truely great at the art and science of SEO a bad name.

    Also check out the Better Search Engine http://www.eliteweb.cc and submit your website.


  2. Avatar Sebastian Schneider says

    You are right Clint. By the way if that guy has already set up and submitted the index pages of those 20 (!!) domain names, he can start off again with a new website as the penalty will probably reach more than 6 months. Creating similar pages that all direct to one page is having different doorways that is considered very spammy..

  3. Exactly. I dare say, some of this is the fault of the client and here’s why: Companies looking for a cheap and quick solutions with high yield will be prone to accept such shoddy advice.

  4. Avatar Andrew Goodman says

    The sad part is that this is transparent self-interest because that web host just got the client to buy 20 domain names so adding $180/yr. or so in extra revenue (not counting hosting). In web hosting, SEO, and a range of online services, you have your cowboys and then you have those who will be accountable for their recommendations. Telling someone to register 20 domain names for search engine visibility is about as cheesy as it gets!

  5. I totally agree! So many people have such a warped understanding of what SEO is actually all about. I have come across so many companies that lie to their clients, it’s amazing, actually, that they are still in business.