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Managing In-House SEO For 17,000 Domains
All complex systems can be broken down into manageable components or modules. SEO is no different; whether you have 17,000 domains or 10,000,000 product SKUs, the system for managing this load is always the same.
A complex system doesn’t necessarily mean it’s based purely in technology. Microsoft, Cisco, AOL, Oracle, and HP are all examples of complex systems wherein people manage numerous components or modules. National magazine publishers and state fire departments are also examples of managing complex situations through a central system. According to Wikipedia, a complex system is any system of interconnected parts, which exhibits one or more properties that are not obvious from the properties of the individual parts.
Complex systems are studied in natural science, mathematics, and social science. Fields of specialization include systems theory, complexity theory, systems ecology, and cybernetics.
We have developed complex system models in many different disciplines for efficient decision-making. In general, all complex systems can be divided into five main categories, and each manager can handle up to five categories at one time. We won’t go into the whys and wherefores, or even try to justify this statement; it’s a universal truth in management systems.
In-house SEO for 17,000+ domains
We were recently approached by a company interested in building an in-house team to manage SEO for 17,000+ domain names. The company’s primary goal was to acquire great natural-search results for all 17,000+ domains.
As with every other SEO project big or small, we use what I like to call the “hub and spoke” model.
The hub and spoke model integrates all of the information and functionality into the central hub and pushes adjunct functionality off into separate spokes for occasional use. For example, an SEO needs assessment report displays a critical path with priorities as its main hub, allowing the managers within the company to create and remove priorities directly from the hub itself.
If you’re confused, you’re probably not alone, but envision this: at the end of the day, your system should resemble a small number of connected wheels, where each hub integrates most of the content, and the spokes enable completion of ancillary SEO tasks.
Let’s just say the hub and spoke model works. So, what’s next?
Once you understand the value of having a system in place for managing complex situations, data, and distribution, you must collaborate effectively with the various hubs inside and outside of your organization.
This is where your personality as an in-house SEO manager comes into play. Making SEO fun for those around you will ensure success. People want ‘relevant’ and ‘simple’ as their mantra during their day-to-day work environment, and SEO is a day-to-day working system within just about every seat in your company.
In a nutshell, how do you manage 17,000+ domains for in-house SEO? First, get top-down company-wide buy-in for SEO. Next, create SEO best practices documents for each division within your company and distribute these documents to key stakeholders within each division. Voilà! In-house SEO becomes a hub and spoke environment, wherein each person involved has transparent access to the SEO requirements relevant to their position and department. Questions, anyone? Don’t hesitate to contact me for more details.
Paul J. Bruemmer has provided search engine marketing expertise and in-house consulting services to prominent American businesses since 1995. As Director of Search Marketing at Red Door Interactive, he is responsible for the strategic implementation of search engine marketing activities within Red Door’s Internet Presence Management (IPM) services. The In House column appears on Wednesdays at Search Engine Land.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.