updated: September 27th, 2006 / Ross Johnson / 4 Comments

Hosting on WordPress is valuable for SEO

I previous did a post testing seo value for subdomains, where I tried to see if blogger RightWeb was correct that having his blog on a wordpress subdomain helped his rankings for the term “best flight booking.”

At first I thought that Google would never let PR or trust of a root domain transfer to subdomains simply because there are so many trusted sites that allow you to get an account/subdomain with them. However – to my dismay, when my site was spidered for my post (which has about the same keyword density, and overall my site probably has a higher PR based on the links I inspected), I was ranked significantly lower than he was.

Rankings that I found

I decided to look deeper and started to see what incoming links our sites had, hoping to find some rhyme or reason. While my blog seemed to have more links from random places, it wasn’t until I got to the second page of listings for RightWeb that I saw a clue.

The clue

It appears that wordpress has thousands of tags to help navigate all the postings, each with it’s own page dedicated to that subject linking to individual posts. Bloggers on wordpress are getting authoritative inbound links from wordpress from pages that are on context, and use the anchor text that is in their post – so the links are keyword rich!

To make sure it wasn’t too good to be true, I searched for nofollow tags or a robot’s file telling the sites not to index the site and found none.

There isn't a nofollow tag

So I was wrong for the most part, but for reasons other than what I originally thought. It seems that wordpress is really the only blog hosting platform that is doing this – which makes sense as Pawel mentioned he had a similar site hosted on blogger that was not doing nearly as well in terms of rankings.

How long will this last? I am not sure, but I definitely will be setting up corporate blogs on WordPress for the time being.

4 thoughts Hosting on WordPress is valuable for SEO

  1. Interesting results. Soudns reasonable indeed. Such links can greatly contribute to the ranking of the blog.

    I’m curious however of one thing – according to Google there are no links to my blog at all.
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=link%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Frightweb.wordpress.com

    MSN search shows all the links you are mentioning:
    http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=link%3Arightweb.wordpress.com&FORM=QBRE

    Have no clue why Google shows no links. In such case high ranking of my blog for many keywords is really surprising for me.

    Thanks!

  2. Google’s display of backlinks is pretty strange. They only display links of PR4 and higher – and even then it is only SOME of those links, and they only update the list of links every three months or so.

    Thats why most people use yahoo or MSN to check backlinks instead of google.

    Cheers!
    -Ross

    ross
  3. Is there any special techniques that can be used to optimize a wordpress blog on my server for SEO. One issue I see is no way to change the title tags on each page, where it seems to take the blog name for the home page.
    I have several hundred 600+ inbound links.
    I have pinged Technorati manually and used pingoat as well as pingomatic every time I add a new blog.
    There is plenty of content, about 30 articles.
    What else can I do? What else should I do to optimize my blog?

  4. You can manually add keywords to your title tag, if you go into the theme editor and edit the header. There is a<?php wp_title(); ?> – <?php bloginfo('name'); ?> , and you can add keywords before the php tags.

    Are you having trouble ranking for keywords? are any of your inbound links containing links in the anchor text?

    Post up a link to the site in question and I would be happy to take a look at it and try and find some tips.

    ross

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