Satellite Sites are used in SEO to measure niche query growth rates, and allow your Core site to adjust its Content Strategy.
What is a Satellite Site and how do they work?
In order to understand Satellite Sites, we first need to look at Core sites, and why Satellite sites are necessary.
“Core sites” are usually multi-niche publications, forums, or blogs that produce lots of content in the hope of acquiring great DA’s, to convert into paid traffic, advertising revenue, or other forms of profit. Now, multi-niche sites have several problems which makes them difficult to grow organically, and even more difficult to plan content strategies for.
The most common thing that Core sites suffer with is the question of: “What Next?”
What niche is growing rapidly? Where do I find relevant resources? Am I prepared to handle this niche? There are major competitors here, can I enter this market? This is where Satellite sites come into play, and help influence the content and direction of the major Core site that they serve to improve.
Satellite sites are websites that operate in the peripheral of a much larger content publication website, by providing readings on their niche specific focus in terms of traffic, clicks, and keyword growth.
Satellite Sites are single-niche websites that nail one aspect of what your Core site would be covering. For example a “Health” category for a multi-niche site will have too great a variety of articles to get accurate readings on for the industry. What you, as a Core site can do, is establish a health-niche Satellite site, in which you target specific keywords over a period of 1 or 2 months and measure the results.
If you receive remarkable traffic from specific articles in your Satellite site, you can duplicate the content over to your Core site, and delete it from your Satellite site. This allows your Core site to rank according to the same keywords, with often a higher DA, and therefore drive traffic to your profit centers.
And voila! Now you have a Satellite site that feeds good content to your Core site; allowing a niche-driven approach to be taken when developing Content Strategies.
Why should you use them?
Satellite Sites allow your Core site to benefit from much more niche specific insights. Running a multi-niche blog, your keywords, traffic, and rankings become diluted due to the vastness of your content, and thus by having a Satellite site in a particular niche, allows you to understand the niche much better.
Let me give you an example:
You run a website! It’s multi-niche with the following focuses: Health, Parenting, Personal Finance, and Holiday Destinations. When you publish content, on an average week you do 1 good article per niche per week. That means you’re doing 5 good articles per week, whether it be you or your copywriting team.
Now of course, its recommended that you run keyword analysis for a batch group of keywords. Under the basic semRush package, you can monitor up to 500 keywords! But once you distribute that across 5 different niches, you’re only looking at 100 keywords for all of your content.
Now let’s imagine you have a Satellite site in place for your Personal Finance niche. Instead of writing content directly to your Core site and publishing it there, you write it and publish it on your Satellite site first. Your Satellite site has a much lower DA, and is niche-specific, unlike your Core site.
Once published to your Satellite site, your content will be much more susceptible to keyword specificity, due to the low Domain Authority. A well targeted article, regarding local SEO, keywords, off-page factors, or Barnacle SEO factors, will rank highly, and quickly, and yield lots of traffic for your Satellite site.
This is an indicator of good content, and shows you what factors of the article will allow for other high ranking articles. For example you engaged Barnacle SEO on a specific high DA website in the Personal Finance niche with your Satellite Site. You saw a huge increase in traffic with that page as the landing page, with all the referrals coming directly from Google! Great! You know it was great content, and that Barnacle SEO really worked for that specific article.
Now you copy the article, paste it into the Core site system, and publish it there, while either installing a 301 Redirect from your Satellite content to your Core content, or removing the Satellite article all together. Now all the traffic you generate for that article is driven towards your Core site, which is exactly what we’re looking for.
Now why don’t you just do this with your Core site?
Because your Core site is not as sensitive to quality of articles. A high DA site can write bad content which still ranks well, a low DA site can’t. Some strategies work better in specific niches than in others. This is the perfect opportunity to test what works for your particular niche, making this a niche-driven content strategy. Ultimately these strategies wind up dominating the market as they are the quickest to respond to changing user searches.
How do you set them up?
Satellite site’s are simple to create and use. Simply host them as normal websites which are focused towards a specific niche. In order to make sure your Satellite site correctly targets a single niche, ensure the following:
- The niche is included in the domain name: (https://personalfinancewebsite.com)
- The page title includes the niche: (My Website | Personal Finance)
- Your images are optimised for your niche: See Image SEO
- Cornerstone Content is geared towards competitive keywords for your niche
- On-Page SEO is fulfilled and optimised!
- Off-Page links are niche related, and in the same language
- Your domain is technically optimised so that your content ranks well
- The content you push is directed towards a specific keyword, location, and time
These sites should always link to your Core site in their content, this helps build an SEO Ecosystem for your Core site in the most organic sense. Not only does this help your Satellite content rank better, but over time will improve the DA of your Core site as well!
The dangers of Satellite Sites.
While they are not link farms, because everything is done organically and for the correct purposes, Satellite sites often seem as though they exist for generating links to a much larger Core site. Their purpose is completely different, and the links are a bonus benefit for the testing function they provide.
Secondly, the duplication of content, if done incorrectly will get your Core site penalised.
Of the penalties that exist, the Google Black Mark is the most severe of the penalties, either crippling your SEV (Search Engine Visibility), or de-indexing your website all together.
While rare, it is possible that this penalty is imposed on sites that are repeat offenders for breaking Webmaster guidelines, one of which is the “Avoidance of publication of duplicate content.”
So ensure that when you are duplicating the content over to your Core site from the Satellite site, that you delete the content from the Satellite site first, wait for 1-2 days, then publish it onto your Core site. This does increase risk of competitors moving into the namespace, but as long as the article was well written to begin with, it will still rank highly.
If you believe you have been penalised according to a Google Black Mark, or other index penalties, please contact us for our relevant Domain Scrubbing services.Read More