Should You Blog on Your Website or a Separate Site?

by Jennifer Beever

Question Mark 2

As a Marketing Consultant I am frequently asked if businesses should blog on their website or create a separate site with a different domain name and URL. I’ve heard many different answers over the past few years, so I decided to research some expert opinions online. My conclusion is that as long as you are blogging about your company, industry, products and services, you should set up the blog within  your business website to add valuable relevant content and drive more traffic to the site.

Some say that a separate URL gives you more opportunity to “own” the first page of Google search engine results. Matt Cutts, Head of Google’s Webspam team, writes in his blog that Google limits its search results to one to two results per hostname/subdomain. Having both a website and blog with separate domains would allow you to have four results per page.

Most experts on blogging, social media, and SEO agree that a blog in a sub-directory or folder (such as www.mysite.com/blog) benefits the site by adding dynamic content for search engines. There is a good discussion about this on LinkedIn that I waded through – Elyse Devries, Alterian SM2, recommends that corporate business blogs be contained in the corporate website. Brandon James, BrandON Consultancy, recommended using sub-folders on your website. In his Better Business Blogging blog, consultant Mark White dis-spells any myths about a separate blog URL generating better SEO through links and writes that if the blog content is relevant to your business, include it in your website.

Others comment that it doesn’t matter where your  blog is as long as you have excellent blog posts.

I believe there may be a few reasons to blog using a separate website and URL. One is if – for any reason – your blog topics diverge from your business, your blog on your website could be confusing to visitors. Another reason is if your business is in an industry that lacks credibility and visitors to your website are wary and suspicious. A blog on a commercial site might be seen as a sales ploy – not as genuine information. I’ve heard it said that blogs with separate URLs are perceived as being less commercial and more genuine.

And, finally, if you are an employee at a company with a specific career path that may not include that company or with a desire to become a thought leader in your industry – you may want to create a separate blog on a separate domain name owned by you on which you can share industry insights. That way the blog move with you no matter where you work.

What’s your opinion? Do blogs belong in corporate websites, or should they have their own domain name/URL?

Photo from Flickr. Attribution Some rights reserved by Xurble


{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Catherine Martin February 7, 2012 at 10:43 am

It seems to me that you should always place your blog on your domain. Just about everybody links to the blog rather than the domain because thats where the information is. If you want to get page rank up for SEO on your site, the links need to be going to it, not to a separate blog.

Jennifer Beever February 8, 2012 at 11:11 am

I agree! The reasons to maintain a separate blog might be if the author could sometime move to another company, or if they are promoting themselves as thought leaders and want to promote speaking and books in addition to their business.

Nicholas Smith February 20, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Thanks for the info Jennifer,

I guess having the blog on the same site would also add deep links to the site and increase rankings that way. Do you think that would be the same for subdomains and folders or is one better?

Jennifer Beever February 22, 2012 at 9:47 am

Hi Nicholas, thanks for the comment. In my experience a blog on the site drives more traffic to the business website. I have never implemented subdomains for my sites or for client sites, but from my research online it appears a subdomain is treated no differently by the search engines than a folder.

Edward Chamberlain-Bell May 23, 2012 at 4:23 am

Separating your blog from your website is counterproductive in terms of SEO – and leans towards black hat SEO if you think backlinks place any value on the ‘backlinks’.

Identifying your blog alongside your website increases its credibility while separating it makes it look questionable.

Lattice Marketing June 19, 2012 at 6:29 am

have a separate blog… for all of the reasons mentioned above…
but also FRAME that blog WITHIN your website. yes, frames will not necessarily give regularly updated content on your site… but it will allow you to send people to either. clients can visit your blog without ‘clicking away’ from your site… and people looking for information can still find your blog, which I’m sure will regularly mention your website for those who are interested.

A way to get around NOT having regularly updated content by using frames (aside from coding properly to have the spiders still recognize the content)
is to feature certain blog posts on your home page regularly… type in the first 80 words or so with a dot dot dot…. and hyperlink it to the blog post.

Jennifer Beever June 19, 2012 at 9:45 am

Interesting ideas. This is the first I’ve heard of using frames to include a separate blog in a website. Interesting idea to post the latest or most popular (topular?) blog post on the home page as well….

Christina Ag February 27, 2013 at 2:31 am

I generally agree with the point of the whole article. I only disagree to one comment “but from my research online it appears a subdomain is treated no differently by the search engines than a folder.”. Actually, no, a subdomain is a a whole different domain and in no way does it get treated like a folder.

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