Due to the murder of my family and the resulting court cases, police investigations, and FBI investigations, I no longer have time to daily update this website.
Likewise ALL novel, short story, and article writing projects are on hiatus.
All book releases, book signings, workshops, and convention appearances for 2015 (and unknown amount of time after) are on hold while the murder investigation of my family is ongoing.
Writing advice for the worldbuilding, character creation, and other writing how to articles are on hold.
From now on, the bulk of updates here will be about the investigation into the murder of my family.
No, NOT just THIS author website, not JUST the EelKat pename, not just self published books: ALL 15 (fifteen) of my penames are on hiatus, that includes traditional published books as well, newspaper reporting jobs, editing jobs, my work for Harlequin Romance Novels, my work for Disney... EVERYTHING is on hiatus. Every publishing house I work for, every series I write, every penname I write under: they are ALL on hiatus, ALL projects.
There is NOTHING being published under ANY penname, not for ANY series, not for ANY publisher, from 2015 onward. EVERYTHING is on hold due to the murder of my family. I do not know when or even if, any of the projects will be restarted or finished.
Yes, BOTH the magazines I owned are indefinitely shut down because of this as well, with no plans for either magazine to return. The publishing house I own is also closed to submissions from now on, we will no longer be publishing anything. It is unlikely we will reopen the publishing house either.
All book signing tours, workshops, letures, PAX events, ComicCon events, carnival/festival/state fair/car show events are also canceled. I will not be attending ANY of them. If a venue still has my name listed as a guest/speaker/etc it is because they've not yet removed it. I WILL NOT be there, no matter where it is!
EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE, IS CANCELED!
The ONLY thing continuing from this point on, is THIS website, where I'll post updates on the murder investigation, hopefully every week, but, you know how it is when 10 members of your family are beheaded, it's kind of difficult to have a schedule for anything anymore.
More of the question...
I am currently setting up a hotel booking website and I'm not so sure how to structure it.
I have landing pages for:
The main keywords are mainly "Hotels in Cityname" or "Hotels near Sightname".
What would be the best SEO friendly way of structuring the url?
Or are there better ways of structuring it or am I just overthinking it?
If you go to Google's web site, and then to the help sections for AdSense, AdWords, Analytics, and YouTube, and read all of the several hundred) articles written by Google to teach you how to properly do SEO, you will find there is an article on "three tier internal linking" which they say is the recommended format to use.
They had several info graphics showing exactly how, step by step to lay out the urls of your site, to best allow their spiders to index the pages.
The format of the urls they showed in the example, matched your 3rd grouping, not your first two examples.
The three tier format as Google themselves explained it goes like this:
- Level 1: The Domain
- Level 2: The Topic Indexes/Categories
- Level 3: The Pages
In your example it would be done like this (according to Google themselves)
- Level 1: https://hotels-example.com
- Level 2: https://hotels-example.com/hotels-in-cityname
- Level 3: https://hotels-example.com/name-of-hotel-number-1
Your site has ONLY 1, Level 1 page (https://hotels-example.com); from this page you link all the Level 2 pages into your navabar
Your site has ONE Level 2 page PER TOPIC or category (Your site will only have 10 to 30 or so Level 2 pages)
- https://hotels-example.com/hotels-in-Old-Orchard-Beach (Hotels In Old Orchard Beach, Maine)
- https://hotels-example.com/hotels-in-Boston (Hotels in Boston, Mass)
are Level 2 pages, that contain NO CONTENT other then to act as a list of links to ALL your Level 3 pages for that category. (With a short 100 word description for each page.)
The content of your Level 2 Page will look like this:
This url: https://hotels-example.com/hotels-in-Old-Orchard-Beach wold contain a list like this:
- The Sand Piper Motel, Old Orchard Beach, Maine
- Beaver Creek Condominium, Old Orchard Beach, Maine
- The Wagon Wheel RV Park, Old Orchard Beach, Maine
- The Brunswick Hotel, Old Orchard Beach, Maine
- The Powderhorn Campground, Old Orchard Beach, Maine
Each of those pages is a Level 3 page, your site will have hundreds, possibly thousands of Level 3 pages; each level 3 page, featuring details of only 1 motel. The urls of those tier 3 pages would look like this:
(including the postal zip code is recommended as it helps Google's Pigeon index your pages in the correct local directories which are used in conjunction with search results in Google Maps - I know the Powderhorn's full 9 digit zip code because they are my abutting neighbour... 04064 is the zip code for the town Old Orchard Beach, the 4 digit tag 1520 at the end is the zip code for the street Portland Avenue; if you know both zip and street codes, this will boost your page in Google Map & Local Business search results dramatically - my own web site gets 80%+ of it's traffic from a 14 mile radius of the 04064-1520 zip code because of this; this is a little known technique used by travel sites that actually took the time to read Google's own help pages on how to format your local travel/business sites for Pigeon optimization - if you are looking to do a travel site, you want to do heavy research into Google's Pigeon algorithm, because that's one - not Panda - is the one that'll be hitting your site hard.)
Anyways, that's the format Google says to use. I highly recommend you do some heavy duty reading of their Help Section articles, because it's far better to get advice straight from the horse's mouth. I mean, who knows better what Google wants you to do, then Google themselves, right?
"Is it best to have a brand name or a long tail exact name domain?"
My url is my brand
name, then each page is my keyword
Each keyword, has
dozens of relevant similar keywords, resulting in LOTS of pages about
1 topic, which in turn allerts Google to the fact that this site is
about one topic, because the topic is all over the site, in headers,
page titles, text body, etc, rather then just in the url.
For example, let's
pretend you are a cat groomer in Maine, your business names Sudds.
The best url for you would be sudds.com and then make each page
keyword named, with pages titled stuff like:
The url being named
the name of the company, makes it easy for customers to find the URL.
Every page having a
long tail keyword, makes it easy for your customers to search within
your site to find the page they are looking for.
Every page of the
site being long tail keywords also tells Google your topic is Cat
Grooming In Maine. It helps Google index your site in the proper
categories and helps get the correct traffic to you (people who live
in Maine and are searching for local cat groomers)
I used to use the
exact name domain method years ago, and before Panda of 2012 it worked GREAT; now
it just works meeh, okay.
Brand name with long
tail keywords works far better nowadays, which is why I switched to
it. I switched to in 2013, after Panda went through and made it
harder for exact name domain to rank on top.
While there is no
evidence that Google punished exact name domain, they no longer reward them with
traffic boosts the way they did in the 2003 to 2010 era when exact name domain urls
were the way to go.