Google’s John Mueller addressed the topic of sites leasing or renting out subdomains off of their main domain and letting third-parties put their content on those subdomains in an effort to rank better in Google and sell more. John didn’t call it spam but did say the search leads at Google are aware of this and have been in discussions about how to handle such efforts.
John began talking about this at around the 3:58 mark into the webmaster hangout on Friday. In short he described this efforts where comparison sites or coupon sites, “where a company will take a subdomain of an existing website and put their content there and use that to promote their contact.” He said Google takes this feedback “very seriously” and “the search leads at Google have been talking about this this exact topic for a while now.” But they are still not sure what is the right action to take because the content isn’t outright spam but might be lower quality. He said “they’re not really spam they’re just they’re just kind of sales pages affiliate pages that are hosted within another website.”
John said “maybe the right approach is to find a way to figure out like what is the primary topic of this website and focus more on that and then kind of leave these other things on the side.” He added that Google does look at the overall quality of a site and this may be hurting it. But he said “I don’t think there’s one clear-cut answer where we’d say like this is exactly what Google should do and delete all of these sites or demote them completely or get rid of all coupon sites to be fair or I don’t know.”
Here is the video embed:
Here is the transcript:
The user here calls it white label sites. So in particular they were seeing things like, what was it, I think like price comparison sites or similar things, what was it, coupon sites I think do this as well. Where where a company will take a subdomain of an existing website and put their content there and use that to promote their contact. And I think this user was seeing a lot of those in the search results and kind of wondering like is it even worth while to make my own website or should I just buy space with an existing website and put all of my content there.
And I I think the answer is is tricky in the sense that on the one hand the user saying they don’t like this practice on the other hand they’re like well should I do it too and I don’t like it but I should I do too. And I think that’s kind of a tricky place to be.
In general when it comes to these kind of things we we do take these these types of feedbacks very seriously. I know the the search leads at Google have been talking about this this exact topic for a while now. To try to find ways to handle these appropriately. So by handling them appropriately I don’t mean like we should treat them as spam and just delete all of these subdomains. Because they’re not really spam they’re just they’re just kind of sales pages affiliate pages that are hosted within another website. And maybe the right approach is to find a way to figure out like what is the primary topic of this website and focus more on that and then kind of leave these other things on the side.
The other aspect that always plays into these kind of configurations on websites is when it comes to quality we try to look at the quality of a website overall. So if there are particular parts of a website that are really low quality, I don’t know if these these are like really low quality coupon sites for example where the coupons are essentially just the same thing as everywhere else on the site or everywhere else on the web then overall that could be degrading the quality of that that site a little bit.
So there are various aspects that that come to play here. I don’t think there’s one clear-cut answer where we’d say like this is exactly what Google should do and delete all of these sites or demote them completely or get rid of all coupon sites to be fair or I don’t know. And these these kind of situations I always find a very fascinating because I I see in the discussions with the search quality leads how nuanced they try to look at this problem and how to they really try to weigh the pros and cons.
And the changes for these kind of kind of sites or this kind of feedback, it generally takes a while to kind of run through. It’s not something where the search leads will just say oh like we should do this and then like that’s done across the board. These are things that we have to evaluate fairly carefully and make sure that we don’t cause any more problems by kind of taking action on one thing and then accidentally breaking something else. So I really appreciate all the feedback that you’ve been sending and all of the compilations that you’ve been doing about the details that you found there. And it is something that’s useful for us to kind of help improve the quality of the search results overall.
Forum discussion at YouTube Community.
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