Following my blog post yesterday about “Swapit Ranks #1 on Google Search” I decided to throw in an extra hour of work to do research on the latest SEO trends. While ranking #1 for your own product name is a very good thing when it comes to rather generic names like Swapit, it is still not the ultimate goal we want to achieve.
In the long run, we need to rank very high for search terms like “second hand”, “used stuff”, “marketplace”, etc. in English as well as their equivalents in local languages.
Google’s search algorithms are constantly changing. Just tiny changes can have a big effect on businesses across the globe. Yet, we had some elementary mismatch between our blog URL and our website.
At the same time, we’ve always had a forwarder called http://blog.swapit.la, which automatically forwarded the reader to http://swapitblogit.wordpress.com. While that worked well for normal humans, it basically cuts off the Google search spider at the first step before the forwarding.
Furthermore, all content published on this blog under http://swapitblogit.wordpress.com, did not have any effect on the content creation on our website http://swapit.la. As a result, all backlinks our blog generated, only lead back to our blog. Those backlinks are important for our SEO ranking and therefore, we need them to lead to our main website.
When you’re a startup, many things are about money and how much you spend for what. In our case, I did not want to host our blog ourselves, so we’re hosting it on wordpress.com. You get a free sub-domain with the free account, so we chose http://swapitblogit.wordpress.com. If you want to map a custom domain to your blog, you’ll have to pay. For a long time, I’ve been resisting that, to save money and also because I thought it might not be that important to map our own domain to our blog. After yesterday’s blog post and quite a bit of research, I realized it is actually important to map your own and I should have done that much earlier. In the end, it costs only US$13 per year to map your own custom domain a wordpress.com blog. Sure, it costs wordpress.com literally nothing to offer that service, but that’s what they charge.
So the change has been done and it is working quite. All of our old links still work the same way they worked before. They’re just all forwarding to our new domain.
Our new blog post URL is now: http://blog.swapit.la
Now, we have the folks that might say: “http://swapit.la/blog is even better than a sub-domain at http://blog.swapit.la“. That might even be true, but I haven’t found any concrete evidence of that. Yet, several folks reported that such a “sub-directory” setup does somehow rank higher on Google. Perhaps that is true, I can’t really tell at this moment. As we are using Strikingly for our main company website, we actually can not easily map a “sub-directory” from that website to a separate blog. So that’s something out of question at the moment. At least until either Strikingly adds that functionality or we move our main website to a different hosting service or self-host it.
Anyhow, I’ve scheduled a task for myself in a month’s time to review the change in Google Search index ranking and re-evaluate if any additional changes are needed, and especially if this recent change has paid off. Until then, stay tuned for more on what we’re doing at Swapit and why we’re doing that.
Have you tried Swapit yet? It’s free. Get it from: http://get.swapit.la/now