Thursday, January 08, 2004

Why Blogs Perform Better than Regular Websites in Google Rankings

Blogs perform better in search rankings than commercial websites. Why is this so? Blogs have stayed true to the early pages on the web. They are text based and link to others sites.

Commercial sites often contain no external links due to short-sightedness by the people paying the bills, and as a result other sites do not link to them. Commercial sites often contain lots of graphics, or have flash intros. Search engines cannot index these - they can't search a graphic or a flash movie for keywords. This means these sites have become islands - and the owners of these sites hope that users get stranded on these islands, once they have found their way their by clicking on an ad, or from seeing the URL on a package. There are many isolated islands like this on the web - think about it, how many times have you been surfing and found yourself on a site and the only way you have browsed away is to type in a new URL or click the "back" button?
Is this what the web is about? The word "web" conjures up an image of interconnection. Blogs are not afraid to connect to each other which is what makes them so interesting. Google values this interconnection and ranks sites with high link popularity higher than others.

This is why a blog can help your business.

You may see no value in having links to other sites on your main commercial website. However if you have a complimentary blog you should link to other sites. You should aim to make your blog the expert of your field. This will make your blog popular and people will link to your site. It is very difficult to get sites to link to your main commercial site unless they are advocates of your product, conversely it is much easier to make people advocates of your blog. Once your blog gains high link popularity and thus high page rank, people searching the web for your product will find you more easily either via your blog or because the resultant lift in page rank for your blog will also lift your main website. Often users will find your site instead of a competitor - wouldn't that be great?
The Oklahoma Wine News blog is a good example of this practice. The blog is about the Oklahoma wine industry as a whole, but is a complimentary blog to the Nuyaka Creek Winery website. When one searches for Oklahoma Wine on Google, the blog is ranked number 1 above 412,000 relevant sites and above their local competitors.

So remember, don't be afraid to link to other sites in your blog, even competitors - your business will gain by doing so. Blog readers value this interconnection, and this is what they want to see. If I wanted to read isolated pockets of information, then I could go to the public library and save all those ISP bills. That said, don't just link for the sake of linking - you need original content as well as links. If you just point to other sites and say "look at this, isn't this cool?" in every post then what is the value of your site?


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