update – I’ve updated this with an explanation at the bottom of this post.
I’m currently packing my bags and getting last minute things together to leave for New York in 36 hours so this post is a little unthought through – but it’s definitely something that caught my attention today because it involves Google and ProBlogger.
Chris pinged me with a post he’d written – Google Gets Caught With Their Pants Down! – a title that made me curious.
But I was surprised to find out that Adam’s post was about how Google are using the sub domain pro.blogger.com
Now before you go have a look at pro.blogger.com – what would you think it would point to?
Blogger.com is Google’s blogging platform so my guess is that they might have pointed it there – but they don’t – they show their own Google search page for the term.
Now ultimately I don’t really care what they do with their own domains and sub domains – but the result of it is that on Yahoo and MSN Search this Google Search page ranks highly (#1 on Yahoo and #3 on MSN) for the term ‘pro blogger’ (and in the top 10 on Google).
Whether they’re doing this on purpose as a way to manipulate search traffic (as Adam argues) I’m not sure – but it is a somewhat odd thing to discover.
A few other comments and reflections:
- Google gives itself a page rank of 9 out of 10 for the page too (I wonder how that works) – if only they’d shoot a little link love directly to a real site about pro blogging…. could do with that kind of Google Juice!
- If nothing else it’s kind of exciting to think that Google think highly enough of the term pro blogger to do something like this. Just makes me wonder why they wouldn’t direct the traffic to their blogging platform. Perhaps they think Google search is a more relevant tool for bloggers than blogger.com? (sorry – couldn’t resist)
- It also makes me wonder a little about the search engine’s search algorithms if Google’s search page (which doesn’t mention the keywords pro, blogger, bloggers, blog etc) can rank so highly for the term simply by having it in their URL.
- I can’t find any other .blogger.com domains that do anything similar. Just seems to be a pro.blogger.com thing (although I’ve only tried about 20-30 combinations)
What do you think about this tactic of Google? Like I say – I’m not quite sure how to react (and at first impression don’t think it’s too big a deal) but as the ProBlogger community I’d appreciate your take.
Update: I worked it out.
After a little of digging around in Internet Archive I now see that pro.blogger used to be used by blogger.com for actual pages which are now no longer active (they started using this sub-domain back in 2001).
It was some sort of a ‘pro’ upgrade package – before Google bought them. You can see some different versions of it here. It still doesn’t answer why they’d put a Google search page up here instead of point it to something relevant – but it does explain it’s Page Rank and why Yahoo and MSN gave it authority (although it’s definitely lacking some relevancy these days for terms of ‘pro blogging’).