3 Domain Considerations For Your Blog That Impact SEO and Security

As companies look to increase their search engine page-rank and drive targeted traffic to their website, a blog is often considered a great resource to do just that. Rightfully so, there are many benefits of a blog such as engaging with your audience, gathering real-time feedback, position yourself as an subject matter expert, lead generation and of course Search Engine Optimization.

Choosing where to host your blog to receive the best benefit for your marketing efforts is extremely important. You must first understand the differences than you can decide which hosting options is the best for you.

 3 Ways You Can Host Your Blog

  • Separate Domain – http://www.blogyourdomain.com
  • Sub-folder – http://www.yourdomain.com/blog
  • Sub-Domain – http://blog.yourdomain.com

Comparing The Options

If you are looking for an immediate boost in SEO with little work, a subfolder may work for you. However if you are looking for a long-term solution which gives you multiple branding and linking opportunities a separate domain or sub-domain may be your better option. Regardless of the differences, they all have their place.

Separate Domain (www.blogyourdomain.com)

Pros Cons
  • Provides control over quality external linking strategies
  • Greatest opportunity to implement SEO best practices
  • Long-term relevancy with search engines
  • Additional branding emphasis and/or identity opportunities
  • Increased and manageable security
  • Page ranking takes longer (weeks to months)
  • Greater time commitment and need for dedicated resources
  • Not a quick SEO boosterPros

Sub-Folder (www.yourdomain.com/blog)

Pros Cons
  • Instant authority from your root-level domain allowing for immediate keyword ranking
  • Google will index new blog posts within days of going live (if indexed correctly)
  • Links to the blog will help specific root-level domain pages rank higher
  • Simple integration within Google site analytics since it’s a part of the directory tree
  • Short-term solution (has an immediate but not lasting impact for SEO)
  • Do not have control of anchor text for external backlinks
  • Links to a particular page will be diluted as some will link to the blog in your sub-folder while others link to your main page
  • Greater chance for security breaches (especially if you are doing eCommerce on your main domain) because you are using your main (parent) domain as the blog

Sub-Domain (blog.yourdomain.com)

Pros Cons
  • Simple/less technical to create
  • Works well for non-eCommerce companies
  • Has a “hybrid” benefit of sub-folder and separate domain: inherits parent domain authority like a sub-folder and provides backlinking to main site like a separate domain
  • Google will consider it a new site and it will need to create its own SEO reputation through backlinks so it won’t rank as quickly as a subfolder
  • Links between website and sub-domain are not given as much weight as a separate domain
  • Difficulty integrating analytics across blog and website domains. You need two separate tracking codes
  • Greater chance for security breaches (especially if you are doing eCommerce on your main domain) because you are using your main (parent) domain as the blog

SEO vs Security Considerations for Blog Hosting

  • SEO  When strictly looking at SEO benefits of blog domains, a sub-folder has fast but short-term benefits, not a recommended approach. A sub-domain is a middle ground and works well for most companies while a separate domain name is a long-term strategy with the most opportunity for benefits if you are able to match the necessary commitment levels.
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  • Security – There is a security risk when choosing options a sub-domain or sub-folder approach as these options are essentially feeding a third party blog into your website via a cookie (since your blog domain and parent domains share the same name). This can create an additional risk of a security breach into your website. This becomes increasingly important if you have an eCommerce website where your customers’ data has the ability of being at risk. By choosing to have your blog hosted on an external domain name (yourdomainblog.com vs. blog.yourdomain.com), you completely separate the blog from the website which will inherit natural barriers against potential security breaches from a hosting perspective. It’s recommended that you choose a hosting provider which either provides or allows for daily security scans and frequent patches. This will help ensure your blog platform remains current and you are aware of any suspicious activity that may put your customers’ data at risk

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