Setting up your new company blog. What’s better for SEO? Hosted solution, new domain, subdomain, or subfolder?

I see this question come up quite often.

People ask where they should set up their new company blog to maximize their blog’s SEO effectiveness. Answers are always varied and mostly, in my humble opinion, incorrect.

To take full advantage of the search engine optimization benefits of setting up a new company blog, there’s only one answer.

But first, how does a blog help with your search engine optimization efforts in the first place?

It’s all about backlinks.

When it comes to SEO, there are two key areas on which to focus — on-page optimization (optimizing your web pages and site code for relevant keywords) and link building. Building backlinks to your website is important because the search engines (particularly Google) use the quantity (and quality) of the backlinks to your website as an important ranking factor in the formula they use to rank the sites that show up in the SERPs (search engine result pages).

By posting quality content on your company blog, people who read your posts will be more likely to link to your posts if they see value in them, and feel that they would be of interest to their own readers.

Quality content = More backlinks to your posts = Better search engine rankings

Where You Should Set Up Your Blog

blogger-logoFor setting up a new blog, you’ve got two options:

  • Use a hosted service (Blogger.com, WordPress.com)
  • Install blog software on your web server (We love WordPress! – WordPress.org)

Remotely Hosted

Google’s Blogger service does allow a self-hosted option where you use the Blogger interface to post to and manage your blog and give it access to your server via FTP, but we’re really interested in software that you can install on your web server.

Hosted In-House

If you’re installing the blog software on your own server you’ll also need to decide where to put it:

  1. Register a new domain for your blog (www.yourcompanyblog.com)
  2. Put the blog in a subdomain (blog.yourcompany.com)
  3. Put the blog in a subfolder of your main website (www.yourcompany.com/blog)

For search engine optimization, hosting your blog on your own domain will have the most benefit — assuming you’re using your blog to help your optimization efforts for your main website (www.yourcompany.com).

Subdomain vs. Subfolder (The Subfolder Wins)

When you (or your web developer) set up your blog, make sure to set it up in a subfolder of your domain instead of as a subdomain — www.yourcompany.com/blog instead of blog.yourcompany.com.

backlinksRemember, the #1 SEO benefit for setting up a blog on your site is the backlinks that you get to your blog posts. If you set it up as blog.yourdomain.com, the search engines see the subdomain as a separate site entirely, and your blog backlinks will not add to the overall link popularity of www.yourdomain.com.

Putting your blog in a subfolder means that links back to your blog posts will count towards your whole site’s link popularity.

Search engines don’t only measure the number of backlinks you have to your website’s homepage. They also count the number of backlinks you have to the subpages of your website, including your blog posts. Having more backlinks to your website’s subpages helps to increase your deep link ratio (we’ll cover that in a future post).

If you were to use a hosted blog service like Blogger (with your blog at yourcompany.blogspot.com), this would have minimal benefit to your main website SEO.

You could build backlinks to the Blogger hosted blog and build up its authority, then link to your main site from the blog, but why bother. Cut out the middleman…

Don’t make this SEO Mistake

In discussions on where to host a company blog, I’ve seen people recommend setting up both — signing up for a hosted blog service as well as installing blog software on your server. Don’t.

That would double your workload as you’d need to have unique content for both. You wouldn’t want to duplicate posts on each blog, as this would result in duplicate content, and you’d also be splitting potential backlinks to posts between the hosted blog and the one on your domain.

Finally, hosting your own blog also allows you to maximize your SEO efforts by using a variety of plug-ins and software add-ons. You can’t do this with a Blogger or WordPress hosted blog.

Learn more about SEO.

– Software Delivered as Promised. No Surprises.

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Insight written by Leokadia Rucinski

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  • saravanakumar

    Really great article! I wish I had something like this when I started using blogs.

  • So are you saying that having a blog on your site is better? For example we have Google Blogger and WordPress neither are linked to our site, should they be?

  • Rose: Yes, absolutely. One of the benefits of blogging is it allows you to build up your backlinks if people link to your posts.

    Having your blog on your main site can also benefit your store. Posting informative articles like how-to’s will keep people on your store site and add value.

    If your articles start to rank in the organic search engine results, you’ll be able to bring in new potential customers.

    Ideally, you should consolidate both your Blogger and WordPress blogs together and move everything to a self-hosted WordPress blog on your site at http://www.lancashireroseblinds.co.uk/blog/.

    At the very least, you should link to your main site from your external blogs.

    I did some quick research, and moving your blogs to your site looks pretty straightforward. You’ll need your web developer to set up your self-hosted WordPress blog on your site, then import both your Blogger and WordPress.com blogs.

    Here are a couple of helpful links for your developer:
    http://labnol.blogspot.com/2007/05/move-your-blogs-from-blogger-to.html
    http://www.blogbloke.com/migrating-redirecting-blogger-wordpress-htaccess-apache-best-method/
    http://www.premiumthemesreview.com/how-to-move-from-wordpresscom-to-a-self-hosted-wordpress-blog/

    Good luck with the move!

  • Great post and i couldn’t agree more. Blogging is essential to increase the overall value of your website. When you couple this with intensive link building, i.e. build links to internal pages for long tail keywords you will eventually rank well. The industry i am in is extremely competetive as are many so the need for blogging is bigger than ever. In my opinion you still cant beat leaving the bulk of your seo to the professionals.

  • Interesting article.
    We shouldn’t overlook at the benefits of having a blog outside your domain as that would increase your pagerank (inbound links are more beneficial that internal links). Also, I do not agree that having two blogs is not a good idea as it is not neccessary to have identical (duplicate) content. You can keep in the external blog deep links to your website and in the intnernal one you make sure you have keyword-rich text. I havn’t tried it but I’ve read that it works.

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  • seocompany delhi

    Thanks for all of your work on this web page. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts in the future.

  • Very nice post………

  • Thanks Colin – I’m about to make some changes to our current site and your short summary of Sub folders vs Sub Domain has answered my question. Looks like Sub Folders wins.

  • its very nice post…

  • Spook SEO

    Hi Colin!

    I tend to agree with you that building backlinks to our site is very important for search engines use the quantity and more importantly the quality of backlinks to our site as an important ranking factor in the rule they use to rank the sites that shows up in the SERPs.

  • its very good post…

  • Colin,

    After much deliberation we have just moved our blog from a seperate domain to a sub-folder of our main domain. Purely by chance I came across this article whilst searching for something different. Thank you for confirming what I thought was indeed the best option. I was actually searching for an answer to this – “How do I tell Google about moving a blog from one domain to a sub folder of a new domain?” I know in webmaster tools one can notify Google of a change from domain to domain, but there does not appear to be the option for my situation as described above. Do you happen to know?

    The blog in question is http://www.careercamel.com/blog

    Many thanks,
    Michael

  • peterzmijewski

    You have shared a very good information. Business is now really depended on the SEO and the internet searches. Thanks for sharing with us.
    Peter Zmijewski – CEO at KeywordSpy

  • Thanks for the post. I’ve had a question for a long time that maybe you can answer. Of course, I get that putting the blog on a subfolder is the best for SEO, but for kicks, could you answer if there is a difference in SEO between hosting the blog yourself and putting it on a subdomain and letting WordPress host it and pointing to a subdomain? Thanks!

  • Editor @StatsMedia

    Spot on.

  • anjaligohil

    Thanks for sharing a Grat tips. Your posts is really helpful for
    me.Thanks for your wonderful post. I am very happy to read your post. It
    is really very helpful for us.

    Regards,

    Krazy Mantra

  • Rakesh

    I have a multi niche website , the main content is Employment news now i want to make a subdomain on entertainment niche and i want do that on a blogger platform. How to route subdomain to a blogger ? any one knows the DNS settings ? Using Cname not working.

  • teaandhoneystudio

    Useful information here for my newely built website and blog. Thanks.

  • Florence Bell

    Great and a very useful blog. Keep sharing.

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  • Nice post