18 May 2009

Blogging Tips : What If the Blog Outranks the Company Website?

What If the Blog Outranks the Company Website?

questions and answers

Punchu asks:

Today I suggested to my manager that we should install the All in One SEO pack in our blog. He said fine, but then he told me something really weird. Few months back (before I joined this company) they did some improvements on the blog and it got better ranks for our targeted keywords than our website. The blog was almost getting 1st page results while the website dropped behind. So the CEO got really annoyed with this and now according to what I understand they are not trying to improve the blog anymore. Well my question is: Is this really a bad thing? I suggested to him that getting a good rank should be a good thing. I don’t understand this. Plus if we work on our blog again and get a good rank then how can the website benefit from it? Please let me know. I really need help. I am so confused.

Interesting question. Unfortunately, we are missing some important variables that would be necessary to elaborate a more complete answer. For example, it would be important to know if the blog is located in the same domain as the company website or not, and what exactly were the changes in the search rankings for both the blog pages and for the company website pages.

That being said, we can hypothesize some scenarios.

If the blog is in the same domain, especially if it is in a sub-directory (i.e., it would be difficult for the blog itself to outrank the main website for the main keywords. For example, if you have a company offering “red bubble gum,” it would be difficult for the blog of the company rank first for that keyword, because link juice and trust always flow to the homepage. If this is happening, it means that either the homepage is not well optimized for search engines, or the internal link structure is not an efficient one. Both of those issues can easily be solved by someone who understands SEO.

The blog would certainly rank higher for long tail keywords, though, because it would have a wide range of topic specific posts. Those should not represent a direct competition with the company website, though, and therefore should be considered as beneficial.

The real problem would be having the blog on a separate domain name. This would make the competition between the two parts more explicit, and it would also split the link portfolio and overall trust between the two domains, which is not ideal. If that is the case, I would consider moving the blog to an internal sub-directory.

The second aspect that we need to analyze is how the rankings were affected. The only situation where the rankings of the blog could be harmful to the company is if the company homepage was ranking in the first position for its main keyword, and then the blog outplaced it. Since there is a huge difference in the traffic that the first and second positions receive from search engines, such a shift could affect the number of organic visitors going to the company homepage. Those visitors would still visit the blog, but only a fraction of them would make a second click to the homepage.

On all other situations, the improved rankings of the blog would benefit the company. Suppose that the company homepage is ranking in the second page for one of its keywords. Then a new blog entry is published and it starts ranking in the 5th position of Google. This would mean that a blog post is outranking the company homepage for that keyword. But so what? The blog post would bring in organic traffic, and that traffic could still reach the homepage if the internal navigation is well planned.

Even if the company homepage was ranking in the 5th position and thus outplaced by the blog post the company would still be benefited. The organic traffic among the lower end results in the first page of results is very similar, so having a blog post ranked in the 5th position and the company homepage ranked in the 6th position is better than having just the company homepage ranked in the 5th position.

Unless the blog disrupted the first position of the company homepage for its main keyword, therefore, all other rankings should be welcomed.

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