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My small-business SEO site design strategy


I’ve read a lot of conflicting opinions about SEO and macro-level website organization for small-business websites. Should there be separate top-level domains, multiple subdomains, multiple subfolders? Try a Google search and you’ll find roughly as many opinions as you have the patience to click through.

Originally I had Scarecrow, my site monitor & backup software, on its own domain. I thought I might sell it someday, and its users probably wouldn’t care about the main Cabin Fever site. Well…I’m not planning to sell. Users do seem to care about Scarecrow’s origins, at least based on their emails to me. And having a separate domain for encrypted (what your browser calls “secure”) traffic actually helps me protect user data…so “” (I do like that, y’know) will remain in place, but only for the actual Scarecrow application.

So I sort of went with the big-business separate domain strategy…but I’m doing it in a small-business way.

On the subdomain ( vs. subfolder ( front, I went with practicality. I’ve had this blog on its own subdomain for years, and Google searches seem to find both main-site and blog content. There may or may not be a Google PageRank “penalty” for subdomains…but they’re darn handy when you have bits of your site scattered across the country on different servers. As I do. I could create the same effect with subfolders via a web server configuration trick (and in one place, actually, I have) but there’s a performance penalty that I decided just wasn’t worth it.

So Scarecrow is in its own subdomain. Or at least the non-encrypted bits are.

I’m going through & updating links. Creating new content. All that stuff. Will it help? Will the combination of the main site & its non-encrypted Scarecrow offshoot boost overall results in search queries? Or will things get worse? Is SEO voodoo? Maybe, in spots. I suspect other things than this re-org will matter more in the long run.

I don’t know. I guess I’ll find out. Any suggestions (or questions) would, as always, be welcome. Whether SEO-related or otherwise.

Be careful out there.

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