Lee Odden

Blog Address: Directory or Domain?

Recently I fielded an emailed question from a reader as to which is better home for a blog: as part of the company web site (www.company.com/blog/) or as a separate domain (www.companyblog.com)? I get this question often and see it mentioned in the forums as well.

There are many factors that influence whether your blog should be part of your site or it’s own domain name including:

  • Branding
  • Hosting platform
  • Blog application (software or hosted)
  • Resources for promotion
  • Resources for content production
  • Purpose of the blog
  • Timeframe for expected results
  • Target audience

For the most part, I recommend that a blog should be a subdirectory of the main company web site. The reason for this includes branding as well as the SEO benefit of having the blog and RSS feed use the main company URL. Having a blog and feed on a web site is one of the most productive things you can do to satisfy search engines’ appetite for fresh, themed content that attracts links.

If your situation allows for less emphasis on company brand and more significant resources and a longer timeline, then a dedicated domain name for your blog makes sense.

When branding is still important, but you want the blog perceived as a separate site, then a subdomain works well: blog.company.com. Search engines will see this url as differently as companyblog.com but you will have the branding benefit of using the same domain name.

The software you use for your blog makes a difference. Our favorite blog software for installation on a server are WordPress and Moveable Type. For hosted blogs like Typepad, there are domain name mapping options that allow you to point your Typepad url (www.typepad.com/myblog/) to a dedicated domain name (www.myblog.com) or subdomain (blog.company.com). That way you can use the adminstration tools hosted at Typepad, but the public side of the blog uses a domain name that you control.

Blogger offers the option of hosting the blog under a blogspot.com URL or it will FTP the blog files to any hosting account that you designate so you can use any of the domain options listed above. Blogger is very easy to use, but lacks functionality found in other applications.

Other hosted blog services allow you to have a subdomain URL such as: search-marketing.blogfuse.com, imarketing.vox.com or mimasm.wordpress.com. The thing to be careful with regarding hosted blog services is that you do not have 100% control over the domain name. If the service goes down, so do all of the blogs. If they decide to charge fees or higher fees, you have few options. The biggest issue is if you decide to move your blog to a dedicated domain name. Most hosted services do not offer any kind of 301 redirect option. Any search engine visibility or RSS feed subscribers will be interrupted until your new URL is found.

I think the best application for hosted blog services is for personal blogs more than for business. However, there are blog software and hosting programs set up specifically for business blogging such as blogs for specific vertical markets like those offered by my PR firm’s client, Blogging Systems.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Avatar Igor M. (BizMord Blog) says

    Lee …. very good post. I believe that having your Blog being part of your domain does not only add to your SEO strategy but also to your credibility as a company.

    It’s one thing to direct your prospects to a different URL to read your blog, than to just say “add /Blog to our URL”

  2. I guess I really messed that one up eh, Igor? I guess it’s not too bad since I use “toprank” in both my company website, http://www.toprankresults.com and the blog address, http://www.toprankblog.com.

  3. Avatar Igor M. (BizMord Blog) says

    Lee, don’t worry about it 🙂 It’s what you make out of it and you’ve made both of these URLs work for you well.

    On a side note … what would happen if you decided to do a 301 redirect to a /Blog domain?

  4. Avatar Thomas McMahon says

    I think you have credibility by putting it on your domain or on it’s own domain. I’d always choose hosting it on your own site, but as a separated site is still good where credibility counts.

    I think you loose credibility when your corporate blog includes blogspot.com or myspace.com in it. Then again, it depends on your company. Granted the National Arbitration Form is on blogspot so exceptions do apply.

  5. Avatar Igor M. (BizMord Blog) says

    Come to think of it … I messed up too. My blog address is http://www.bizmord.com/Blog so that “B” in BLOG is capital. If someone types Blog with a lower case, they won’t see my blog.

    I now know what I have to do. Create folder /blog and redirect that page to /Blog. Ok … where is my amigo programmer (He’s got to go do a job now that Americans won’t do)

  6. Avatar Thomas McMahon says

    :: Removed some comments as this is not a support forum. :: Sorry Igor, seem my email to you for help off the blog.

  7. Avatar Tammy Ames says

    It’s a great post and makes sense. I’ve done it both ways ~ on different domains and as subdomains. Both SEO and visitors alike appear to prefer the blogs as a subdomain better. It has a feeling of continuity because they stay on one site. Having the RSS aspect on your site is a definite plus because of the content being added daily.

    PS – CAPS always seem to screw people up in urls. 🙂

  8. Avatar argplywood says

    Thank you very much from argticaret.com Turkey

  9. It

  10. Both SEO and visitors alike appear to prefer the blogs as a subdomain better.

  11. Avatar P. Eric Willms says

    I believe that having a blog as a sub-domain or a directory is the best way to go, and I believe it gies to branding. One thing that I find customers are after is a similar look and feel as they go about your site, and that continuity is important. Dpending on what your site is doing, it may not be a good idea to send tham off site just to blog.

  12. If you host your blog on your company domain, there is an added benefit of using a subdomain (blog.company.com) rather than a subdirectory (www.company.com/blog). Since the search engines see a subdomain as a unique URL from the main domain, you have a better chance of grabbing two spots on a results page (SERP) if both your blog and site are well ranked.

  13. Sub-domain is better.