Business Blogging seems to be undergoing explosive growth as everyone jumps on to the bandwagon. Even the prestigious magazine Business Week has started a parallel blog called Blogspotting. The principal reason for this is the increased ability of companies to dialogue with their customers. Of course the most high profile example of this is Robert Scoble of Microsoft, who has supposedly had a major influence on the public perception of his employer. The Internet is about communication and blogging is an ideal vehicle in this process. Human beings can talk to human beings.
One less obvious aspect to the Internet is that it also deals with human beings who talk to computers that talk to other computers that talk to other human beings. Often the computer software and protocols used may modify the information that is available or transmitted. Search engines are a very powerful factor in this information availability issue. If a search engine cannot locate a source of information then to all intents and purposes that information source does not exist.
One side benefit of business blogging is that blogs are one of the most visible types of web pages on the Internet. A blog associated with a website may be much more visible than the parent website. This is because the blog has a preferred structure relative to what a search engine values. The blog has significant text content and has associated hyperlinks to and from other web pages. A case study discussed in The Other Bloke’s Blog entitled “Business Blogging Brings Internet Visibility” provides confirmation of this. The three most competitive Google searches in that study all yielded groups of over 300,000 web pages. In each of these studies, either the websites for the relevant companies did not appear in the top 100 web pages in two cases or in the third case the company website was at position # 68. On the other hand, the blog posts for these companies appeared at positions #2, #6/7 and at #10 within the Google keyword searches.
The strong visibility of blog posts in Search Engines keyword searches is likely to be true whatever software is used to create the blogs. There are good facilities for broadcasting the existence of blog posts by ‘pinging‘ the news feed aggregators. So one can adopt a proactive approach in making sure the world is aware of every new blog post that is made. This is not the case with normal web pages. The only way is to try to arrange as many hyperlinks to a web page. This is done with the hope that one of the search engine spiders or robots will chance to find the hyperlink in its frantic scurrying around the World Wide Web.
In the case of The Other Bloke’s Blog, which was involved in this case study, an additional factor is that it is prepared using the Blogger software provided by Google. Although it is not hosted on the blogsite.com domain, all blog posts are indexed within the Google Blogger index. Although there is no suggestion that this gives heightened visibility within the Google search databases, it is possibly a useful place to be found.
There are several other factors that should be carefully considered before starting a business blog. Certainly search engine optimization does not figure in that list. However if it makes sense to have a business blog, then it may make sense to consider the SEO implications of that choice.