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GTS Product - Some assistance

Sunstoner

Sunstoner

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#1
Hi All

Towards the end of 2016. I took a phonecall from company trying to force one of their domain names down our throats, told them to sod off but got chatting about a service/product they have called 'GTS' . Apparently it is Google Authorised and lends itself nicely to those companies wanting to hit many areas or places.

This GTS service creates an almost carbon copy of your site, sticks it under a different domain name albeit a similar one and generates landing pages for every town/city in a given specified county. The company practically guarantee a top spot in googles page rankings.

I know only a very little of what google calls good content behaviour and believe that generating lots of similar landing pages isnt a good behaviour. I went ahead as they told me that this was Google Authorised. I have my doubts that this is even remotely true.

As an online business we do run a number of landing pages ourselves as we cover a large number of areas throughout the UK and we seem to see some decent performance from our landing pages. Having spoken to our SEO contractors they're not sure about this GTS product having not come across it and believe as I do that it can only be damaging our current online standing with Google.

Has anyone any advice on the above or perhaps experience with this GTS product? Im close to getting it cancelled as Im sure its causing a negative impact and the more I tihnk on it, im convinced Google wouldnt have authorised such a product.

Sorry about the very long winded post. Bit of a novice all round with some SEO learning to do.

Steve
 
Community

Community

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#2
I've not heard of any product or term called "GTS" ( maybe you could link to for reference ). However it sounds like a service which is essentially creating local landing pages. Not something that is seen in a good light generally unless done properly with unique content and it adds value.

That being said it's done alot, especially in less competative niches where small towns and villages are not covered as heavily. You have to be careful, the majority of cases that do this...and by the sounds of it similar to the one you've written about above, tend to make minor edits to localised pages but all pages are very similar, they then try to rank for smaller, long tail local searches for towns and villages.

There is thin and duplicate content to think about when performing this kind of "tactic", along with a "realistic" view of "serviced areas". It's not logical for a small company with a small reach to rank in every town in the UK, but it could be viable for them to reach lets say a 50 mile radius of their current town.

For a real tangible business that doesnt want risk, I wouldn't recommend doing anything like this on scale, nor using a "carbon copy" of a website in order to do so.

General rule of thumb for landing pages is, if you can create a page with unique copy on it, that adds value and has a good target audience then do it. If you can't ..........steer clear unless you know what you are doing and understand the consequences in doing so.

Have a read up on local landing page optimisation and see if you feel it fits with the service you are being offered : https://searchengineland.com/perfect-local-seo-landing-page-infographic-251604
 
Sunstoner

Sunstoner

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#3
Hi

Thankyou for your prompt and full informed response.

My gut tells me that this is a negative thing and that I should have it closed down and forward the domain name to our own main site.

Having had a look at the companies website, there is no mention / page outlining the GTS product bar some 'GTS' Terms and conditions :

sharpsmediagroup.co.uk/legal.html

which upon looking now seems very odd indeed. Surely a warning light if ever there was one. Surely a 'quick fix' Google authorised service like this ought to have some presence under their services list?! . You know when you get that feeling? (that I've been stupid in signing this off!) allbeit 15 months later!

The team that I use for SEO say that as our domain has much higher authority than the domain that the GTS product uses and the fact that the GTS product/service is running very close content and practically identical website framework under a different domain name can only be having a negative impact on our main site.

If I go ahead and cancel this service which I'm seriously considering, what ongoing impact will this service have on our main site. I will be administering the other domain name once I get it off this company to simply forward to our main website. Could the damage that has possibly have been done by this service be rectified?

Im really keen to act quickly on this as to limit any damage already done by this service.

I must thankyou on that very very useful link on local landing page optimisation. A very handy resource for us to refer to.

All the best

Steven
 
Community

Community

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#4
Steven,

Would it be possible for you to private message me your website and the GTS URL so I can give you a more accurate response ?

There certainly isnt a "Google authorised" Service which does what you've outlined, how the secondary site is setup will greatly depend on how/if it can effect your primary business site. I'm surprised your SEO guys have let it run this long if it is a questionable services that could impact their own work.
 
Sunstoner

Sunstoner

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#5
Absolutely....I cant believe Im asking this as its usually pretty obvious but how do I Private message you? lol #newbie
 
Community

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#6
Thanks for the private message and clarification Steven.


The GTS copy site

Looking at this "GTS" site, I'm not really sure what they are trying to accomplish as it's not really doing anything at all. It only has 12 pages indexed, none of which rank for anything significant. All have thin content which offers no real value and the rest of the site is linking heavily to your money site.

It's doesn't even act as a Lead generation page ( whether that be through organic, PPC or social Ads ) etc because there is no separation in call to actions between your primary site.

If anything it could be considered as confusing to visitors.

I also see that the .com domain that is registered for this GTS service is registered to the provider, and not to you. I would hope if you cancelled the plan they would hand over the domain to your ownership so you could protect your brand efficiently. Not carrying the .com equivalent to your own brand could end up costing you in the long term, so id make sure you get that transferred into your control upon any cancellation.

Your Money site


I would highly recommend reviewing your current structure for the local landing pages, Although I can see its working for you quite well, I fear with the recent algorithm updates and most likely further ones coming up this year you could come struggle, there is alot of duplicate local landing pages in your main setup. You also have very little in terms of domain authority, backlinks etc so currently you are massively relying on your content and landing pages.

There are many companies that do it the same way you have, but I wouldn't be shocked if this is something that gets clamped down on hard in the coming 18 months. ( We've already seen signs of it in the last couple of updates, especially with thin and duplicate content in the mix. )
 
Sunstoner

Sunstoner

New Member
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1
#7
Thankyou massively for your feedback.(and your time!) Its very much appreciated.

You have helped me come to a decision with regards to the GTS system. I am going to be ridding ourselves of its wastefulness!. For a fee, they will cancel the system and handover the domain name to us. So they say. I was shocked that we hadnt as a business purchased the domain at the time. They did register for us at their insistence, I had offered to register it ourselves, regret having not done that at the start tbh. :-/

As business we do provide a service in varying areas around the UK and as such we need some kind of presence online but in the right way. You're are correct in that the landing pages have done a job for us however I know enough to know that landing pages arent the kind of online art that google is wanting future sites to have. The question is, how the heck to move forward? unfortunately I dont know enough to go ,'Right, this is what we will do this with the site...'

I would love to be able to put something solid and sustainable in place using better methodologies so that we can grow online in the right/best way, but Ive no idea where to start and what skills are needed to achieve this. Admittedly these things are vital for the business to grow and I'd dearly like to 'push on'

It does feel like just slightly like a boat without a rudder, or with a teeny rudder :p

Do you know of a company / person who could pick this up by the scruff of the neck and drag in the right direction?!

Many Thanks

Steven
 
Community

Community

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#8
Hi Steven,

No problem at all, I just hope you've not wasted to much money in trying things like this. Live and learn as they say, thankfully no major damage has been done with this learning curve.

It doesnt surprise me that they insisted on registering the domain, most companies that offer a "reasonably" priced service hold the domain as collateral. It's normally an indication of cheap services where they know someone will cancel eventually and have to "buy" the domain off of them as a part of the service contract. No business should let a Web design or marketing company buy their domains for them.

In regards to your way forward, being a national brand in organic and paid search is still viable, along with a localised visibility being a primary focus, your approach however should evolve from what it currently is. Building your brand authority, using content and external factors in the correct way instead of relying on your current structure of thin/poor content.

If you do not have the technical ability to do it in house then it really comes down to monthly budget and what the website has to convert in terms of sales to cater for such a budget. Given the scale of your need for national reach, anyone quoting you less than £500 - £750 per month is probably underestimating what needs to be done. That would be entry level pricing though in my opinion.

Your new website should also take into consideration your future goals for organic and paid search too.
 
Sunstoner

Sunstoner

New Member
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1
#9
I find that in situation Im definitly living and learning. I havent been able to get through to them, previous contact numbers not working and the main number going straight to voicemail isnt a good sign. I can see a little battle ahead with these guys.

With regards to what you saying re the domain name. I believe thats exactly what they were upto. Feel pretty daft for letting that happen. It had crossed my mind at the time too.

The monthly budget is about par for what I thought it would take to at least point it in the right direction before actually putting wind in its sales! :p

Agree, it does need to evolve from its current position. Its working to a fashion but needs attention.
 
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