Thursday, January 22, 2009
Effect of custom domain conversion on traffic and PageRank
As you know, Blogger has introduced custom domain whereby you can register your own domain name and use it for your blog instead of the sub-domain of blogspot.com. Some may be deterred from using custom domain because it involves a change of URL (Uniform Resource Locator) and PageRank of the blog reduced to being not ranked, both which may reduce the traffic to the blog.
Last year I finally decided to make the leap and convert one of my less traffic blog, http://dummies-guide-to-google-blogger.blogspot.com/ to custom domain, namely http://www.blogger-book.com/.
Regarding PageRank, it did get downgraded from a PageRank of 4 to being not ranked at all. However, the PageRank of Blogger book has now increased to PageRank 1 and is expected to increase as time goes by. The best of all is, it appear that PageRank is not that crucial to getting hits (traffic) as the conversion to custom domain, despite the PageRank downgrad, did not decrease. In fact, from an average of 3020 unique visitors per month from the month of January to October (before conversion), the number of unique visitors have increased to 3976, an increase of 32% (see screen shot below):
However, before I convert, I saved all the permalink prior to conversion to custom domain to test whether the old permalink will be redirected to the new custom domain permalink. I am happy to report that all the old permalink is being effortlessly redirected to the new custom domain permalink (individual post URL).
Update 1:Unlike Wordpress.org where you have your own domian and have to pay for hosting, conversion to custom domain will cost you nothing for hosting. Blogger will how for you free. You only pay for registration and renewal of the domain.
Update 2: A blogger has complained that after conversion, traffic went down to almost zero. It turned out that the blogger registered the domain direct from Godaddy. In my case, I registered using Google Apps via SETTINGS > PUBLISHING, paid for the registration and did the conversion to custom domain all within Blogger, never directly through Godaddy. Looks like most of those bloggers experiencing problems with custom domain did it via Godaddy.
Disclaimer: Do not take this as an encouragement to covert to custom domain as this is my personal experience and may or may not be replicable