We run an ecommerce site and my boss would like to take advantage of the strong demand for a couple of our products in particular. One of the ideas being tossed around is creating domain names that incorporate these keywords so that search engines find them more quickly (i.e., www.sitenameproduct1.com, www.sitenameproduct2.com)
What are your thoughts on this approach? Is this considered ‘black hat’ and could this get us in trouble with the major search engines?
Creating new domains for this purpose is a really, really bad idea. Search engines can’t distinguish keywords within domain names unless they are separated by hyphens and there is really next to no ranking advantage for having keywords in a domain anyway.
It’s not black hat, but it’s a total myth and hasn’t worked since about 2001.
In fact, trying to get brand new domains ranked in Google takes up to a year now because of the aging delay so to launch new sites for this purpose is definitely not a good strategy.
You’d be much better off creating a few new pages on your existing site dedicated to the popular products and optimize them well for related keywords.
For example, create some articles about the products or people’s experience with the products and link to the product detail pages from within the articles using target keywords in the anchor text of the links.
Your existing site has great PageRank and link popularity and it is the best place to put content about your products.
If you place a link from your home page to the new product articles/pages, that should help the search engines find the new content quickly and hopefully provide more rankings for keywords relating to those products.
The other option is to boost the number of product related keywords in your pay per click campaigns and create dedicated landing pages for them so they convert better.