Mittwoch, 13. Mai 2015

The best linking strategoy for multi-national dating site networks

What is the best linking strategy for multi-national dating websites?

Assuming you had to optimize the linking strategy of a dating sites network (same brand), what would be the best strategy?

First of all, you need to decide if you have one domain per country or whether you are going to use one subdomain for every country.

Secondly, do you want to use canonical tags or rather not?

Thirdly, which sites should be linked from which sites in order not to be treated as a link-farm by Google?

I would say, let's look at the top dating sites in the uk that are international and server individual sites per country.

Match.com Linking Strategy(?)

Match.com uses a .com domain for all country - with 2-letter country codes as subdomains for each country (maybe as they have not managed to get the trademark/domain in everywhere?)

In the Uniteds Kingdom, http://www.match.com uses the subdomain http://uk.match.com.

Strangely, they are setting a canonical tag to themselves on uk.match.com:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://uk.match.com" /> 
There is NO link to www.match.com however around 15 homepage links to the specific country subdomains.

Also the .com domain sets a useless canonical  to itself:

<link href="http://www.match.com/" rel="canonical" />

On the .com Domain, the only link to usa.match.com and uk.match com as well as the following page:

www.match.com/international/index.aspx?lid=446 

which links to all existing(?) subdomains- however not directly - with redirects.


 POF.com Linking Strategy

pof.com mainly uses www.pof.com but Google has indexed country specific subdomains such as de.pof.com. Those subdomains however often redirect to country-specific domains such as pof.de or pof.fr.

pof.com does not use any canonical tags.

 On the homepage, pof.com uses links to the country-specific tlds:
  1. <a class="footernav-link" href="http://www.pof.com.br">POF Brasil</a><br />
  2. <a class="footernav-link" href="http://www.pof.fr">POF France</a><br />
  3. <a class="footernav-link" href="http://www.pof.es">POF Spain</a><br />
  4. <a class="footernav-link" href="http://www.pof.de">POF Germany</a>

eHarmony.com Linking Strategy

eharmony.com uses tlds for every country the are offering their dating service.

On country-specific domains such as www.eharmony.co.uk they link to other English tlds such as www.eharmony.com.au, eharmony.ca or eharmony.com.

eHarmony uses a canonical on the .co.uk homepage that points to www.eharmony.com

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.eharmony.com/" />


eHarmonyalso links from the .com to their English-speaking tlds. The signup form shows a deeplink for the action that points to https://www.eharmony.ca/singles/servlet/homeRegS


parship.com Linking Strategy

parship.com uses subdomains for every country the are offering their dating service.

They are using (useless) canonnicals that point to themselves, e.g. on uk.parship.com that show a self-referencing canonical:


<link rel="canonical" href="http://uk.parship.com/" />

On the homepage they link to all their networks - interestingly https. Most pay-sites are fully https while most free sites still use http in order not to cut their revenue from advertising.

https://fr.parship.be
https://www.parship.be
https://www.parship.it
https://www.parship.nl
https://www.parship.dk
https://uk.parship.com
https://www.parship.es
https://www.parship.com.mx
https://www.parship.fr
https://www.parship.se
https://www.parship.ie

On www.parship.com you see an error - they accidentally link to http:// instead of https:// - dough!

So, on the .com they link to ALL of their domains (even if the wrong protocol).

The canonical points to itself...so you can ignore it.

http://www.parship.be
http://www.parship.dk
http://www.parship.de
http://www.parship.es
http://www.parship.fr
http://www.parship.ie
http://www.parship.it
http://www.parship.com.mx
http://www.parship.nl
http://www.parship.at
http://www.parship.ch
http://www.parship.se
http://www.parship.be
http://www.parship.dk
http://www.parship.de
http://www.parship.es
http://www.parship.fr
http://www.parship.ie
http://www.parship.it

http://www.parship.com.mx
http://www.parship.nl
http://www.parship.at
http://www.parship.ch
http://www.parship.se
http://uk.parship.com

cupid.com Linking Strategy

 cupid.com uses subdomains for every country the are offering their dating service.

the www.cupid.com domain does not reference any other domains or subdomains while the uk.cupid.com subdomains links to all other subdomains:

<li class="us location_item"><a href="http://www.cupid.com">United States</a></li><li class="ca location_item"><a href="http://ca.cupid.com/">Canada</a></li><li class="au location_item"><a href="http://au.cupid.com/">Australia</a></li><li class="fr location_item"><a href="http://fr.cupid.com/">France</a></li><li class="de location_item"><a href="http://de.cupid.com/">Germany</a></li><li class="it location_item"><a href="http://it.cupid.com/">Italy</a></li><li class="es location_item"><a href="http://es.cupid.com/">Spain</a></li><li class="se location_item"><a href="http://se.cupid.com/">Sweden</a></li><li class="in location_item"><a href="http://in.cupid.com/">India</a></li><li class="no location_item"><a href="http://no.cupid.com/">Norway</a></li><li class="br location_item"><a href="http://br.cupid.com/">Brazil</a></li></ul></div>



Cupid.com does not seem to use canonical tags at all.

flirtbox Linking Strategy(?)

flirtbox uses country-specific top-level domains, e.g. https://www.flirtbox.com or https://www.flirtbox.co.uk and no canonicals. Global cross-linking could not be detected.

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