As I have mentioned recently, I have a few clients jumping into the world of blogging for the first time. And this has raised some questions about the best configuration for a blog; both for ease of use and “find-ability” in the search results.
One of the first questions that came up was “self-hosted” or “externally hosted?”
Blogger.com and WordPress.com are fantastic easy platforms for people to get a blog up and running with only a little bit of time investment in setup and design. But does that ease of use sacrifice one of the most important elements of optimizing your website and blog for the best search engine results? Relevant information is the key to not only good website visibility but also good traffic to a website.
Having an on-site blog provides a whole new dimension to how relevant information can be provided at your website. When you host a blog as a subdomain or subdirectory of your main domain, (based on personal preference or motivated by your hosting platform constraints), you get all the great mojo of very targeted content you have created, that is directly relevant to your target audience. You get all the link-juice of links within your own site and blog as well as the external links that you will naturally generate by having blog posts with helpful information and targeted keyphrases.
If you host your blog externally, all that great domain mojo and link juice goes to whoever is hosting your blog (Blogger.com, WordPress.com, etc.).
There are a few things you should be aware of in Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools setup depending on whether you are using a blog in a subdomain vs. a subdirectory in order to make sure you can accurately tracking everything on your site and blog (more on that later).
In the meantime, here are some answers about subdomains vs. subdirectories from Matt Cutts:
- High Rankings Forum: http://www.highrankings.com/forum/index.php/topic/47362-blog-sub-domain-or-not/