My apologies: I misread your original question. I thought you were asking about externally hosted blogs, such as on Wordpress.com or blogger versus hosting a blog yourself, which is what my answer was addressing. Sorry if that caused confusion.
like to comment on some of the questions you raise about blogs hosted on the main domain versus blogs hosted on their own domains, though...
QUOTE(nethy @ Nov 20 2007, 09:19 PM)
For reference, IMO, they have a concept of a 'site' to at least some degree, and I think that ther is adifference in how external & internal links are evaluated- but Iam not concrete in that opinion and I can be persuaded by common sense or anecdotal evidence if you ever have a mind to chance it.
How about both?
Anecdotal evidence: my personal every day experience over the past four years of managing a corporate website that's made up of two domains and a subdomain. One domain and the subdomain are internally hosted on IIS servers, the other domain is externally hosted on an Apache server. One domain's pages are written in ASP.NET, the others are in PHP, and the subdomain is in plain old ASP.
But the pages are all interlinked to form a single "site" from a human visitor's perspective. They share a common navigation and a common look and feel. "Home" links always point to the home page of the main domain, no matter what page on what domain the visitor might be viewing. Pages interlink freely (as you would do within a single site) without regard to what domain each individual page resides on. Unless a visitor looks closely at the address bar while navigating the site (which, in my experience, most do not do), it's virtually impossible for them to tell when they've gone from one server/domain to another.
I have been unable in all this time to identify any difference in how links among the various pages of each domain are treated by the SEs.
Common sense: recognizing a "site" is generally pretty easy for humans, but it's one of those "I know it when I see it" situations. When you start trying to define
a "site" and write mathematical formulas to designate "site" versus "non site," you'll find it gets complicated very quickly.
For instance, many people fall into the trap of equating domain
. The two are not at all the same.
Almost any definition you can come up with, I can provide an exception from my own personal experience. Sometimes a subdomain is part of a larger site (as with my company's site); sometimes it's not (as with Blogger). Generally, a folder is part of a larger site, but I have one domain with a folder on it that holds a completely different website with its own separate navigation, its own individual look and feel and its own unrelated topic -- so I have one domain with two websites on it. Most times a single domain is just one site, but other times (as with my company's site) it's only part
of a site. What are the thresholds of determining which is which, and how do you write an efficient algorithm to sort it all out?
And more importantly, why would it matter
? SEs are not in the habit of wasting computing resources. What benefit would a SE get from spending the additional computing resources to identify a "site" versus a "non site"? Wouldn't they do just as well to continue with analyzing the linking patterns between pages (the way they clearly do now) and potentially what domain the page is on (which they're probably using in some situations) without worrying about the concept of a "site"?
Yes, they may treat some links different from others (in fact, I'm almost certain they do) but I don't think it involves any sort of analysis to define/determine a "site."
For example- If Jill was to start a blog today and post about something relevent to moderately competitive key phrases, we'd probably see it ride the steam of the rest of the site (assuming it was well linked to from the rest of HR) even if it was yet to establish a readership and gain references from the comunity.
If the blog was well linked from the rest of HR it would "ride the steam of that site" whether the blog was internally hosted on the same domain, hosted on a separate domain or housed on an external bloghost site. If the posts were well written and Jill took the time to comment on/trackback other blogs, she'd get references, links and readership from the community regardless of what the domain name was of the blog or how/whether it was integrated into her main site.
If a company wants a successful blog, they need to work at it. Just putting a blog out there for the sake of having a blog isn't going to do much good. On the other hand, if your blog is interesting and you network in the blogosphere the way nature intended, you can be successful without a huge brand backing you up. Just ask Caroline Middlebrook.
If I were to list site optimisation resources, I'd probably mention ME. However, I wouldn't reference the blog seperately. If the blog was hosted/promoted as a seperate entity (even if clearly and transparantly owned/operated jointly) I may do so. Similarly I'd be likely tol ist High Rankings & the Forum as one entity.
The majority of links are always going to point to the main page of the site, whether it's a standard site or the home page of a blog. Fortunately, the internal linking of the pages within the site can spread that link love around.
Besides, getting additional links pointing to a well written, interesting, well-promoted blog is usually not an issue.
Individual blog posts will get links from other bloggers posting about what you've written. For an interesting, well written blog managed by a blogger who understands how to participate effectively in the blogosphere, getting links to pages on the blog is not usually an issue.
But, I am refering to actaually integrating a blog in a site. That usually means integrating it into the navigation so it'll recieve PR.
I hope I'm misunderstanding what you're saying here. Because I'm assuming you know you don't have
to integrate the blog into the site navigation in order for it to receive PR. The blog will receive PR from links, whether those links come from the navigation or from inline links in the page text. There's no special PR boost (IMO) from site navigation.
Yes, the same can be done while hosting seperately but user experience consideration would require you to actually integrate site's look & feel & navigation in the blog, pretty much making it part of the same site with bitshosted in different places. If you were to go down that road, I'd assume you go the whole way and simply putthe blog on your site.
If you've integrated the blog into your site navigation and are using the same look and feel, it already is part of your "site."
No matter what the domain name displayed in the address bar says.
There may be very good technical reasons (as with my company's website) for parts of a site to be on different platforms and different domain names. For my company, should we decide to launch a blog, we might decide as a business matter to treat a blog as a separate entity, and we might decide to treat it as part of our site. But no matter what our decision might be on the marketing and design of the blog, because of a number of technical and administrative considerations, I can assure you it would be hosted on a different domain from the main domain.
And we'd make our decision based on what made the most sense for our business, not because of some presumed SEO benefit of one way or the other. Because for us starting a blog in the first place is a business decision, not an SEO ploy. And because I know from my experience, outside of potential "sandbox" issues in Google, the domain name of the blog is not an issue.
Which leads us back to Jill's point, with which I agree totally. It's a business decision, not an SEO decision. If you link the blog and the main site together, you'll get the benefit of those links, no matter what domain each lives on. You can fully integrate the navigation and the look and feel if it makes sense for your business and your site visitors, or don't if it doesn't. You can put them both on the same domain if it makes business or technical sense to do so, or don't if it doesn't.