example.com/blog as a masking redirect to ...
Yes, in theory, you can do exactly that. Note that by "masking redirect" we are not talking about "framed forwarding" or similar (which won't help at all). The "redirect" is completely "masked" from the user. The address in the browser's address bar shows
example.com/blog but the server actually retrieves the content from
blog.example.com/ (an additional / proxied request).
On Apache you can use mod_proxy (and optionally mod_rewrite) to proxy the request from
blog.example.com (a reverse proxy). However, if your current host is too restrictive (after all, it doesn't support PHP?) then this might not be possible. This is likely to require some additional config on your blog, since the base URL is now
example.com/blog and not
Not sure why you would want to do this seemingly "additional" step? (Why
/info?) You don't need to move your blog anywhere.
example.com/blog would go straight to
robots.txt file for
blog.example.com to tell search engines to not index the subdomain.
You definitely must not do this! If you suddenly block the search engines from crawling the old URLs then bang goes your SEO! You will essentially be starting from scratch. Moving from
example.com/blog is a URL change/migration. Like any URL change you would need to setup 301 (permanent) redirects from the old to new URLs - this allows search engines to discover the new URLs where the old URLs have already been indexed. And like any URL change you might experience a dip in ranking initially. There is always a risk.
So, the basic steps involved would be:
- Proxy all the requests from
- Change all your internal links to your new blog URL.
- Setup external (301) redirects from the old to new URLs. ie.
However, I'm not convinced that "changing" the existing URL structure is going to be "worth it". As mentioned above, there is always a risk in changing the URL structure and having the blog under the same host (as opposed to a separate subdomain) may not see the SEO advantage you are seeking.