Last year I wrote a post called 5 Reasons To Put Viral Content On Mini-Sites, providing reasons why you might opt to use a mini-site rather than keeping all the content on your main domain. One of the reasons was because content might not spread due to your domain.
Even though mini-sites doesn’t always make sense from an SEO standpoint, it’s now getting to the point where they’re a must if you want to keep linkbaiting with your commercial domains. You see, commercial domains just won’t work on Digg anymore. Sure, you can fire off a successful linkbait piece or even two if you’re lucky, but try any more than that and you’ll see what happens. Your domain will be banned from any further submissions faster than you can say “Reddit.” Banning aside, a commercial domain itself throws up a red flag to social media users and will make it that much harder to get something popular.
Enter the mini-site. Setting up a mini-site is one great alternative for companies who suffer from the commercial domain plague. It will give you a new place to produce content in a non-commercial manner, which means you can now get back to your regularly scheduled linkbaiting. Just one problem, right? Why would you care about getting links to some other domain?
There are a number of different strategies you can implement here. The 301 redirect seems to be the most popular and most effective, especially if you’re looking to carry link juice. But it’s also a strategy that needs to be pulled off with finesse. For a while people were just using the 301 to mask the URL appearance on Digg and to get around a banned domain. Digg users are getting savvy, though, and seem to be picking up on that trick. A better approach is to set up 301 redirects to all the links a few weeks after the campaign is over.
I don’t want to get involved in the ethics of using 301s here. I’ll leave that up to your own judgement. The point is that you now have another reason to consider setting up that mini-site.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.