One SEO professional asked John Mueller during a hangout about having too many microsites.
So they explained a scenario: say you have a franchise with one hundred franchisees. Every franchisee has a microsite of the domain – such as domain/branch1, and their corresponding URLs.
Their question is: what are the best practices involved in making sure all the content is displayed well?
It’s really hard to have a hundred branches with many hundreds of different content pages. Most of them will be staying the same because they are part of the same franchise.
But, they are offering the same two services. They are following the same rules and procedures for these pages.
Is it a problem from Google’s perspective, like from a user perspective? It doesn’t matter if a user is looking to solve a problem in a given location.
And so, for the user, it doesn’t matter if that same content, or nearly the same content is visible on one hundred other pages. What does Google think?
John believes there are several aspects he would examine here.
On the one hand, he would watch out for creating doorway sites and doorway pages. This is something that Google has mentioned in their webmaster guidelines.
Usually, doorway pages are more about swapping out one word on a page, where the rest of the content is the same.
If you have a specific service that you create pages for every city nearby, or every street or region nearby, and you create hundreds of these pages that are driving traffic to the same business.
This is one thing John would watch out for.
However, with franchises, John thinks it’s likely less of an issue because these are, essentially, separate businesses.
The other thing he believes is more of a strategic question: which is about how you want your content to be found, and what you consider to be important regarding your content.
This happens at approximately the 04:30 mark in the video.