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Blogger Magic - Custom Domain Publishing And Search Engine Reputation

There's a lot of confusion seen in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, about our blogs, and how they are treated by the search engines, after being published to a custom domain URL.
Does the Page Rank transfer to the new domain?
and
Is the blog automatically indexed after the change?
and
Will my readers be able to find my blog after the change?
Each of those questions has a simple answer - but each simple answer leads to interesting detail.

The basic facts to consider are quite simple.
  • Search engines index our blogs, and calculate page rank, by domain / subdomain URL. Better search engine reputation leads to better search listing placement, and more traffic.
  • When you publish the blog to a custom domain, you are giving it a new URL.
  • With the blog published to a new URL, it has no page rank, and is not indexed.

So, the immediate answer is reasonably simple.
Like a new blog, and like a blog renamed within BlogSpot, a blog newly published to a custom domain has Zero page rank, and is not indexed.
Now, look at the details.
  • Unlike a completely new blog, a blog newly published to a custom domain has reputation, in the minds - and links in the blogs - of the readers.
  • Unlike a completely new blog, there is an existing BlogSpot blog that is indexed, has search engine reputation, and now links to the domain URL.
  • Unlike a blog renamed within BlogSpot, a blog published to a custom domain has a DNS based redirect, from the BlogSpot URL, to the domain URL.
  • Unlike a blog published to BlogSpot, a blog published to a custom domain may have some value simply because of the non BlogSpot URL.
And here is where the magic starts.

When you combine the assets, held by the BlogSpot URL
  • Links, in our readers blogs.
  • Reputation, in our readers minds.
  • Reputation, in the search engines.
with the DNS based redirect - applied against a properly setup domain, and using a proper complement of sitemaps - you get a blog which acquires indexing and page rank from the existing reputation of the former BlogSpot URL, as that BlogSpot URL, and our readers blogs, are being re indexed. And, there is the magic.

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Comments

Thanks for this post, answered more than a few questions for me. I purchased a custom domain name and it would not redirect my URL to it. It kept giving me the 404 error. I didn't realize, before I bought the custom domain name, that when I had changed to the new URL, blogger did not automatically redirect the old URL to the new one, so all of my readers lost their feeds :(

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