SteinCoffee

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Our SEO company is currently building a colossal amount of location/service landing pages. Most of our competitors have landing pages like "Seattle Plumbing" and "Tacoma Plumbing", etc. Instead, our SEO company is making for us "Seattle Plumbing", "Seattle Commercial Plumbing," "Seattle Residential Plumbing", Seattle Plumbing Service Type 1", "Seattle Plumbing Service Type 2", etc. They're doing this for every location, and the end result is going to be hundreds of pages.

I've been tracking organic results of keywords for pages they make. A few months ago when I searched plumbing+location A, the plumbing+location A page showed up on the second page. Now it's nowhere to be found. Instead the plumbing+location A+commercial page shows up.

What's going on? My instinct is cannibalism may be relevant, and that they may be building way too many pages.
 

JoshuaMackens

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We used to do this and just stopped.

We saw some pretty strong evidence that it was hurting ranking. The Doorway Page algorithm could have been the culprit.
 

SteinCoffee

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It's likely a lot of the pages are getting filtered. You can confirm this by checking a few and seeing which pages are filtered by following the steps outlined in this article.

Thank you. When I test by using &filter=0 like the article describes, the effect doesn't seem to be that big. The largest I found is that for one service+location search, we rank on second page with our home page and an old blog tag landing page and nothing else several pages deep. Then when I add &filter=0, the same two rank on the 2nd page along with a third old blog category page, and then on page five I start seeing some of the specific landing pages we would rather be ranking for.

I'm not sure what to do with information.
 

SteinCoffee

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We used to do this and just stopped.

We saw some pretty strong evidence that it was hurting ranking. The Doorway Page algorithm could have been the culprit.
What strategy did you switch to? Something like just one landing page per location?
 

GoWebsites

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It sounds like you have too many pages for the same keyword topic - plumbing.

We have UK clients in the plumbing sector and where it makes sense with site usability and keyword search volume, we produce targeted keyword/area pages if it warrants having a new page dedicated to a service. For Example

www.plumbingdomain.co.uk/central-heating-engineer-leicester
www.plumbingdomain.co.uk/boiler-repair-installation-leicester

notice in the second one, we have combined boiler repair and installation as they fall under the boiler topic. If it warrants it, we could split out the pages for boiler work such as

www.plumbingdomain.co.uk/boiler-repair-leicester
www.plumbingdomain.co.uk/boiler-installation-leicester
www.plumbingdomain.co.uk/boiler-service-leicester

Or, alternatively you could create one page that covers the whole topic

www.plumbingdomain.co.uk/boiler-service-repair-installation-leicester

It seems to me that they are creating too many pages for the plumber related keyword.

We have had a similar ranking experience with the keyword "emergency plumber leicester" and "plumber leicester". We have two pages that are optimised.

The homepage (they only service one area and it's their primary service) for the keyword "plumbers leicester" and
www.plumbingdomain.co.uk/emergency-plumber-leicester

now, you could argue that these fall under the same topic and are the same service. You'll see lots of competitors /plumbing page ranking for both phrases.

In hindsight, I would have perhaps optimised "emergency plumber, plumber, domestic plumber" etc on the same page however we know the more relational the content to the search query, generally the better the conversion rate.

However keywords such as "commercial plumbing" is a different service and I would have have a page dedicated to that

www.plumbingdomain.co.uk/commercial-plumber-leicester

We had the issue of the emergency plumbers page outranking the homepage for "plumbers leicester" fora while due to aggressive link building for the emergency page, however they have righted themselves and the correct pages now rank for appropriate keywords.

Questions to ask are

Does the keyword fall under a topic and can it be clustered with other topical keywords?
Is the keyword a standalone service that warrants a new page?
Is there enough search demand data to warrant having a separate landing page for keyword?
Would the searcher expect to see a separate page for the keyword?

Hope this helps!
 

GoWebsites

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On our own site we have split out services into area pages in the following way

Digital Marketing Agency Leicestershire - Areas We Cover - Go Websites

but we have kept pages topical for example Web Design Leicester - Boost Your Conversions - Go Websites covers the following keywords (+Leicester)

web design, web design agency, web agency, website design, web development

I would also ask youre SEO company to take a closer look at your site, i can see pages such as ChaseNW that are sitting in Google index - which you probably don't want there!
 

SteinCoffee

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It's likely a lot of the pages are getting filtered. You can confirm this by checking a few and seeing which pages are filtered by following the steps outlined in this article.

I've investigated more and found the filtering effect for at least one query. Basically, one of our location landing pages that performs very well for a wide range of keywords is being filtered out for a more specific keyword, but it does well when I apply the filter check in the article you linked. A different page that is for that specific keyword takes its place in the normal SERP. This tells me that if the only landing page we had for this location was the one that does very well for many queries, it would rank for the specific keyword instead of being filtered.

In your estimation, do we want it so that our "better" pages are not being filtered out? If I have one page that does well for many queries but is filtered out for niche query by a page that ranks only for that niche query, is the right move to get rid of the niche query page since a "better" page would rank for that niche query then?
 

PeteC122

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Hi All,
I basically use the same technique on my eCommerce website and it does work very well for all my landing pages offering different services in different cities.
However, I am very conscious that in effect, if you have to many of these , it could be argued to be doorway pages which are against Google guidelines. My competitor does the same thing but he has over 20K doorway pages using the same content just respun and he does incredibly well. The only thing I can see on his site that must be helping him is that he owns a few other sites in a similar niche and they all send him links to his money site so in effect similar to a PBN.
The most recent google update on 3rd June hit me for a 20% drop in traffic. I am wondering if others who have these doorway pages found also found a drop in traffic?
thanks
Pete
 

chadkimball

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Right... I have a client that is filtered, does it run in real time? I thought they ran that filter periodically
 
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