This is the Friday website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Usually I choose a random city around the U.S. to find a retail jeweler, and this week, in honor of the Las Vegas jewelry shows, I'll search around Las Vegas, Nevada.
The following is a screen grab when I searched for "jewelers in las vegas." The top listed store is The Jewelers of Las Vegas. They have updated their website since I last reviewed their website two years ago today. I will re-review their website next week because Summerlin Jewelers piqued my interest.
Notice the two different domain names in this screen grab:
I also reviewed the SummerlinJewelers.com website two years ago. In fact, they still have the same cruddy, vender supplied site that I explained in that two year old review. What I find interesting now is that they are also using an exact match domain name for their Google+ Local listing.
Exact Match Domain Names
An exact match domain name (EMD) is one that uses a keyword phrase that matches a complete phrase that you expect your customers to use.
In this case, Summerlin Jewelers is using LasVegasJewelryDesigner.com as their EMD. Those EMDs helped boost your ranking a lot in years past, but any SEO guy worth their salt knows that it doesn't help any more. So why is Summerlin using it?
Additionally, using a different domain name in your Google+ Local listing goes against the NAP connect-the-dots principal explained here.
Diving In To The Home Page
The Summerlin Jewelers EMD is http://www.lasvegasjewelrydesigner.com/;
this is what the home page looked like when I did the review:
(click to enlarge)
This is certainly a better looking website than the http://www.summerlinjewelers.com/ site. This one is even responsive to mobile device sizes.
I'm very pleased that they are not using a slider on the home page and I really like the coloring and composition of 3-stone diamond ring photo you see there. It would be good if the four images you see on the home page were clickable to inside pages, but all of their navigation is handled through the top menu.
Potential SEO Over Optimization
Take a look at this Custom Jewelry Design page:
Here's a snapshot of the important bits:
Here's what I see real fast:
* The URL says "custom_jewelry_design"
* The headline says "Custom Jewelry Design"
* The sub-headline says "Jewelry Designer in Las Vegas, NV"
* The word "custom" is used several times on the page throughout content that is obvious marketing fluff
The obvious hope is that this page will appear in Google when someone searches for the phrase "jewelry designer in las vegas," but I don't see it at all. In fact, the summerlinjewelers.com website appears on page 3 of Google's SERP. I stopped looking for the lasvegasjewelrydesigner.com website after page 5 of the SERPs.
Obviously their SEO strategy is not working.
It's time to pull the curtain back and reveal exactly what Summerlin Jewelers is up to. They are paying Star Gems for their summerlinjewelers.com website and they are paying Yodle.com for the lasvegasjewelrydesigner.com website.
Yodle touts themselves as an "all-in-one local marketing and advertising" company. They take care of all the website setup for you and provide a hands off service. Just like the services of YellowPages.com, Yodle will grab information from your existing website, create a new website with an EMD, and try to outrank your existing website.
I always find it to be a strange business model that you would willingly pay another company to create a website that would be used to outrank your current site. That's the type of service that YellowPages and Yodle provide.
Yodle took content from this page:
and repurposed it on this page:
They also did the same for these two pages:
One of the reasons why the lasvegasjewelrydesigner.com site isn't listed in Google's organic SERPs might simply be because Google recognizes the site as a duplicate of the existing summerlinjewelers.com site.
Yodle Duplicated Sites
Take a look at this site:
(click to enlarge)
This identical looking website is for a jeweler in Port Charlotte, Florida. The site has the same design as Summerlin's site. Much of the content, like the custom design page, is the same on both sites.
I also discovered another disturbing issue when looking at the source code for both sites. Yodle is using the same Google Analytics tracking code on both sites. I'm sure Yodle is providing reports every month, but this means the stores don't have access to their own tracking data.
Here's he source code:
At the time of this writing the pricing for Yodle was as follows:
* $1349 monthly for their Silver Package
* $1749 monthly for their Gold Package
* $2499 monthly for their Platinum Package
You have to pay up-front for their 3-month minimum contract term, then they provide month-to-month billing after that. You can cancel any time after 3 months. They also have a setup fee, but you might be able to get that waved.
Most of the money you pay them is allocated towards Google AdWords ads that are targeted to your local area.
Summerlin Jewelers seems to be taking the easy way out for website maintenance. They are paying one company for a product catalog site and another for this "local" promoted site. They are wasting their money.
Yodle does provide a decent looking, and easy to navigate site, but the duplicated content between sites is bad for all their customers. The AdWords money that Yodle allocates every month should generate enough visitor traffic to compensate for the negative ranking aspects of these template sites.
Lastly, just like YellowPages, all the money you sink into Yodle is being flushed into a black hole of online existence. Yodle owns the website, not you. It all goes away as soon as you stop paying them every month.
It's just not worth it.
That's it for this week's review; see you next time.
FTC Notice: I randomly choose this website and won't be telling the retailer jeweler that I'm doing a review. Unless someone else tells them, they will only find out about this review if they examine their Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. I'm not doing this to solicit business from them, but rather as an educational exercise for everyone. This review is completely impartial and all my comments are listed in the order that I discovered them.