If your blog cannot be built on-domain what should you do? There are some situations where you just cannot build an on-domain blog. Some situations may be where you are using a template driven website and you really do not have your own server space and so cannot install WordPress, you have an e-commerce site and just cannot include the technology to run a blog on the server, or you are hosted on a Windows server and cannot install PHP which is needed for WordPress.
If you have any of these scenarios, isn’t off-domain blogging still good for you? I used to say yes, but let’s look at a case study done recently for a real estate firm.
This client could not install an on-domain blog as their website was a template driven website and they did not have “real” server space. We set up a GoDaddy.com domain and hosting to house their off-domain WordPress blog. We blogged for almost six month using keyword dense phrases. At the end of the study period, we evaluated. Did the off-domain blog bump up the parent domain due to one way inbound links and keyword dense blog posts pointing to their parent domain?
What we found was that the strategy of off-site blogging was not workable. The parent domain got no “SEO juice” from our blogging efforts. Not only did organic placement not improve, but the off-domain blog itself was not showing for the keywords we were using either.
You can run some searches yourself on this website yourself to see that we started out no where and ended up no where. The parent domain is www.MarcoIslandLuxuryEstates.com and the blogsite is www.Marco-Island-Luxury-Estates.com. If you look, you will see that the blog domain is not in the top 100 results. The parent website has been slowly moving up in the SERPs but when analysis is done on links to the parent domain, Google is not recording the links from the blog as a factor.
The key take away from this post is that unless you heavily promote and create a link strategy for your off-domain blog to build it up in Google, the site has no “authority” on Google and the other search engines and so one way inbound links from the off-domain blog to the parent website mean nothing to Google in regards to organic placement.
If you are going to invest time and money to promote, create links and push placement for an off-domain blog in order to help the parent domain, wouldn’t the investment and time be much better spent on the parent domain instead?
Make sure to read my recommendations on Friday on what you should do instead of having an off-domain blog.