MicroISVs and microsites: an experiment

We have decided to try something new (to us) and launch two microsites related to Java logging and .NET logging. Both websites should be useful starting points for developers looking for more information about available logging frameworks and links to (mainly open source) tools, articles and tutorials. We will be adding additional resources to the sites in the coming weeks, so if you think we forgot something, please email us or leave a comment.

Of course, the websites also help us promote our own logging tool SmartInspect. But if the sites are useful guides to developers interested in this topic, it should be a win for everyone if we are able to make SmartInspect better known at the same time. We know that product related microsites worked well for some fellow MicroISVs such as Ian‘s open source help desk list, so we wanted to give this experiment a try. If you happen to have a programming or MicroISV related blog or website, we would be really grateful if you could support this experiment by linking to one of the sites.

If you are into search engine optimization, the choice of domain names might be interesting to you. We chose DotNetLogging.com and Java-Logging.com to be exact matches of popular logging related search keywords. After analyzing a few of the well-ranking websites for these keywords, we are positive that the domain names and URLs are important ranking factors for them, especially when you consider that some of those sites only have a handful of inbound links. This is also supported by a blog post by Aaron Wall of SEO Book fame:

“Over time the role of the domain name as an SEO tool has changed, but currently I think they carry a lot of weight for the associated exact match search. Depending on how they are leveraged going forward they may or may not continue to be a strong signal of quality to search engines.”

Another reason we’ve started this experiment is to find out if the server location has an impact on search engine rankings. Our main server, the server hosting this blog, gurock.com and DelphiFeeds.com, is a dedicated server located in Germany. Even though our website is only available in English, we believe Google is favoring websites hosted on US servers when users are searching for English keywords. This is also confirmed by the fact that our website is ranking better on Google.de, Google’s localized website for Germany, even though our website isn’t available in German. To test this theory, we opened a cheap shared hosting account with an US provider and are hosting both microsites on US servers.

It will be interesting to find out if our assumptions about domain names and server locations are true and if the sites become a useful resource for developers interested in logging frameworks and tools. We certainly hope so and would love to read your comments about this experiment!

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