Hi Jill,

I have a client that has posed an interesting problem for me.

He has three unique but related product lines that he wants to make an ecommerce site for. After doing some keyword research I have found amazing niche opportunities for these products with many search requests and very, very little competition.

We can make a totally unique site for each of these product lines with great domains that perfectly describe the products and are very simple to remember. We can, as an option, link each site together since there is a good probability that someone shopping on one site might be interested in products from one of the other two sites. We can even have them share a common shopping cart so it makes checkout very easy if they want products from each site.

Or we can make one site that sells all three product lines but has a domain that is more generic and not descriptive. I am hesitant to create another mall-type site that includes a lot of products since these products could easily justify having their own dedicated sites.

Would having three separate sites help in getting more targeted incoming link PR? Or is it better to vary the incoming links if I did one site with all three product lines? Am I over-thinking this? Should I just make one mall-type site? Or would making the three mini sites be the best way to go?

Thank you,


Jill's Response

Hi Martin,

I do think you're very much over-thinking it! The problem is that you're trying to base a very important *business* decision on what the search engines may or may not like. That's no way to do business!

The search engines want only what's best for their users. And their users are the same people who are your users. So think about it in terms of what would be best for the people visiting your site those seeking out and potentially buying your products.

Generally, you'll find that when the products are related, it makes the most business sense to simply have one big site.


Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.

June 15, 2006

CEO and founder of High Rankings®, Jill Whalen has been performing search engine optimization since 1995 and is the host of the free High Rankings Advisor search engine marketing newsletter, author of "The Nitty-gritty of Writing for the Search Engines" and founder/administrator of the popular High Rankings Search Engine Optimization Forum. In 2006, Jill co-founded SEMNE, a local search engine marketing networking organization for people and companies in New England.

High Rankings is an internationally recognized search engine optimization firm located in Framingham, MA specializing in search engine optimization, SEO consultations, in-house training, site audit reports, search marketing seminars and workshops. High Rankings has a 100% success rate for substantially improving client rankings and targeted traffic.

Jill speaks at national and international conferences and has been writing about SEO and search marketing since 2000. She's been quoted in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report and The Washington Post. Her articles have appeared in numerous print magazines and online websites including CIO Magazine, CMS Focus, The Internet Marketing Report, ClickZ, WorkZ, Inc.com, Entrepreneur, Lycos Small Business, WebProNews, SiteProNews and others. Jill has also appeared on many online and offline radio programs such as Entrepreneur Magazine's E-Biz Radio Show, SearchEngineRadio and the eMarketing Talkshow.

Search Engine Guide > Jill Whalen > One Site or Three