After something like six years, and over 10,000 blog posts, Zennie62.com has officially moved from Blogger to WordPress.
This doesn’t mean we’re quitting Google’s Blogger – there are over 90 blogs still there – but Zennie62.com now goes to Zennie62blog.com, rather than Zennie2005.blogspot.com. It also means that link traffic from searches redirect from Zennie2005.blogspot.com to Zennie62blog.com.
This video blogger has taken the Blogger platform as far as it can go. The last big template change called for over 14 direct modifications, and all to the objective of better search engine-related performance.
But the key problems that block getting great SEO out of Blogger still remain. For example, the blog post permalinks are incomplete. That is, when I type a blog post, the entire title should be represented in the URL, if that’s what I want to have happen. That only happens for Blogger blog posts for the first five words of a title. So, if you can keep your blog title at five words or less, you’re fine. But that causes the elimination of some keywords best used for your title.
After trying to find a work-around for this for years, that I could not do so was one of the main reasons for the idea to switch to WordPress.
The other reason is that Google’s own engineer, the famous Matt Cutts, switched from Blogger to WordPress a few years back. That was another reason: if Google’s own people couldn’t stick to Blogger, it meant they weren’t that interested in improving it. That’s the message I took.
Also, many of the top blogs, TechCrunch among them, use WordPress. The question in my head for years was “Why can’t I make Blogger behave like TechCrunch from a search standpoint?” So, after trying to “beat” WordPress with Blogger, I figured it was time to join WordPress.
The other reason was, three years ago Google accidentally took down all of my accounts. And while they were restored within 30 minutes, that feeling of being violated was an awful one.
That was what set in motion the plan to at least have a “back up” blog.
It took a while to find the right template, but what I wanted, and have to a degree, was something that works like a cross between the Drudge Report and Zennie62 before the move to WordPress. In other words, I wanted a blog that had links to its content, and a lot of reasons to “click around.”
I also wanted something that was clearly monetized and this blog template, after a number of changes, is that. The entire header was altered to include a space that features the latest video from YouTube.com/zennie62 and ad space, and a featured blog post promo image on the left.
The idea was to be able to feature a sponsor at the left and retain ads, unless the sponsor wanted to pay for that space too.
We’re not done changing and refining the blog. But because it’s on a self-hosted WordPress blog, I feel I have more control over the publication and the content.