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Does Mapping A Typepad Blog To Domain Offer Any Seo Benefit?

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#1 BrooklynUpdates


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Posted 28 May 2009 - 07:52 AM

I have a client with an existing web site on a Microsoft Server using ASP pages. I was brought on to do the SEO for the static web site, which it desperately needs. I suggested they add a blog, and they hired another outside company, which got them started on a Typepad blog. I've already lost the argument of Typepad vs. Wordpress. Since Typepad can only be hosted remotely, is there any way it can still offer the desired SEO benefits to the existing site? If we map the Typepad blog to blog.domain.com does that benefit domain.com in any way? What about domain.com/blog? Is it even possible to map a Typepad blog to a subfolder rather than a subdomain?

#2 Randy


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Posted 28 May 2009 - 09:21 AM

Welcome BrooklynUpdates ! hi.gif

Since Typepad can only be hosted remotely, is there any way it can still offer the desired SEO benefits to the existing site?

Sure it can. If it links to and from the pages of the main site just like it would have if it were self-hosted it'll work out to be pretty much the same as far as SEO is concerned. Remember, the search engines rank Pages not Sites. So what's important is the linking relationship between these pages.

Where potential problems come in with remotely hosted applications is that you have less ultimate control over them. It doesn't matter whether it's a remotely hosted blog or a remotely hosted shopping cart or whatever. You simply have less control if you cannot change the files wholly and completely if the need arises.

As to the subdomain vs. subfolder question, I'm not familiar enough with Typepad to answer the mapping question. I do use MovableType for my personal blog (it's a self-hosted, installed application) and it makes use of Typepad in that you can allow registered Typepad users to post comments. But I'm not sure on if Typepad itself can be mapped. That info should be in their help docs.

If it can be mapped setting it up as Subdomain or Subfolder won't matter. They're treated pretty much the same these days. At least by Google.

#3 BrooklynUpdates


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Posted 28 May 2009 - 12:06 PM

Thanks, Randy! I checked with Typepad, and it can be mapped to a subdomain, but not a subfolder. So, is mapping equivalent, SEO-wise, to hosting a blog on one's own site? And where can I get more information about subdomains and subfolders being treated more or less equally by Google?

#4 Randy


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Posted 28 May 2009 - 01:29 PM

The trick is to remember (always!) that the search engines rank pages. Not domains, not sites, not groups of pages. The reason this is important to remember is because it often appears that they might be doing something else when you look at the visual results.

The whole subdomains vs subdirectories issue was one of these confusing situations. And it's hard to explain without delving into a bit of history.

Historically, you could get many, many pages of the same domain or site to rank on the same page if you simply used subdomains. Where you could have put those same pages in a subdirectory structure and the most you'd ever get to rank in the same SERP set is 2 pages.

This wasn't because of pages being penalized or anything like that. It was because of something called Host Crowding that all of the search engines have done with same-domain pages. Basically host crowding is a limit that get applied after ranking decisions have been made to make sure a maximum of 2 pages from the same site show up in the same grouping of search result sets, with the idea being that the search engines like to offer as wide a selection as possible to their users. In other words, why offer 10 pages out of 10 results from the same domain, as opposed to 2 results from that site and 8 other results.

It makes sense.

Some people were using subdomains to absolutely dominate some SERPs, by using a tiny bit of skill and a ton of subdomains so that ever one of the top 10 or even top 20 listings for some phrases would show only one of their pages. Google decided it would be better to come up with a blanket type of rule than it would be to try and track down, find and actually penalize some pages so that they didn't show up. Again, the approach they chose to take makes sense.

But how could they fix it without issuing penalties since they historically didn't include subdomain addresses in this Host Crowding equation. It only applied to subdirectories.

Starting a couple of years ago Google changed the way they applied Host Crowding. (Which to make the point again occurs after the ranking algorithm has been run and is part of the SERP Display only.) They started applying Host Crowding to subdomains, just like they did with subdirectories, except for rare occasions where the subdomains really were stand alone sites.

So for all intents and purposes today subdomains and subdirectories are essentially the same where Google is concerned. In that not only are pages still scored on a page-by-page basis, but host crowding applies to both.

Matt Cutts has written about it on his blog. Or if you do a search with something like "google subdomains host crowding" without the quotes you'll come up with several other documents that get into all of the details.

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