August 16, 2017

Does Google disfavor blogger blogs?

On a Facebook Group on blogging, someone created doubt recently whether Google gives low value to blogs hosted on its own Blogger platform just to prove a point before enforcement authorities that it does not favor people using its services.

It looks logical, going by numerous court cases and questioning from national IT authorities such companies have to face globally, relating to anti-trust, monopolistic or restrictive practices. Or is it illogical?

Specifically, we saw the following arguments during discussion on that group:
  • Google deprecates Blogger blogs when it comes to its search preferences.
  • Blogger blogs that retain .blogspot ending are thought of as not too authoritative sites.
  • Google favors Wordpress blogs over Blogger blogs, for some curious reason.
  • In any case, search engines think low of blogs unless the blogs are maintained as regular websites.
I, or my colleagues here at ITB, have no clue about Google deprecating .blogspot blogs. And we believe, it won't do so. In fact, we have sometimes felt that good articles on Google Plus get higher prominence on Google search pages than what they would perhaps got if they were on other platforms.

If Wordpress blogs seem to get a higher SERP position than a Blogger blog with similar standing and content, that could be due to inbuilt SEO tweaks that the Wordpress blog might have. It is often reported that many free/ paid Wordpress themes have good SEO practices built in. Some SEO plugins available to Wordpress blogs might also be behind these pages getting higher search positions.

So, what Google can do on its Blogger platform is to make the themes/ templates SEO friendly in most ethical sense: make the blogs discoverable.

Blogger blogs are free, good.

Coming to blogs per se, blogs with .blogspot or .wordpress ending will definitely be taken less seriously because 
(i) the blogger has not invested money for maintaining the blog, and so does not display as much commitment towards the blog as one who pays for that; 
(ii) blogs with such endings share resources with millions of other blogs and may not be as efficient as independently hosted ones (in terms of speed, other technical qualities); 
(iii) such blogs are not efficient (and not search-robot friendly) because of too much coding that the free blogging platforms have to include so as to make the CMS with thousands of options suiting all types of users; and 
(iv) intrinsically pages as part of big domain (e.g. itb.blogspot.com is part of a big domain, blogspot.com) are seen to have less authority than independent domains.

But we don't agree that blogs get a greater visibility when maintained as regular websites. Regular updation, widgets and latest posts coming on top are qualities of blogs that make them far more search-friendly than regular, static, websites. If you find that a website with similar content comes on top of a SERP listing while the blog comes down, there could be other reasons such as age, content quality, quality of coding and site structure and effective search engine optimization.

In all, bloggers on Blogger platform need not shift to other platform just because of this apprehension. Some more quality consciousness, discipline in updation and a bit of SEO would more than compensate for whatever you had been missing.

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