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We are currently discussing various options for implementing a blog engine or Content Managing System. We have a Ruby on Rails application, which gives us the option of using an existing gem, creating the blogging CMS from scratch, or use the Wordpress API to publish content and basically pull it to our domain's blog page.

https://developer.wordpress.org/rest-api/

I don't fully understand how the API will work. However, I believe we publish the blog posts using the Wordpress interface and it will be stored somewhere on a private/public Wordpress website. The API will allow us to pull the various blog posts through to be loaded on our company domain's blog page.

My question is, how will this affect SEO ranking? Is there anything our team should be specifically aware of?

  • You have other options as well. You can host the blog somewhere else using a subdomain. Alternately, you could use Apache on Nginx as a front end web server and use reverse proxy to serve your Ruby on Rails app, allowing you to easily integrate multiple server technologies into one site. – Stephen Ostermiller Dec 18 '17 at 12:39
  • @StephenOstermiller I've been told by a few people in the industry that this is not a great option and won't be the most optimal option in terms of SEO ranking. I expect this would not rank as optimally as a web application using a blog that's implemented within the application itself? – RubyMax Dec 18 '17 at 13:10
  • Blogs on subdomains rank fine in my experience – Stephen Ostermiller Dec 18 '17 at 13:37
  • And how about the reverse proxy option? – Stephen Ostermiller Dec 18 '17 at 14:52
  • @StephenOstermiller By using the Wordpress API and pulling the content from Wordpress to our blog domain are we not doing something very similar? – RubyMax Dec 19 '17 at 16:24
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It sounds like your company site is built on WordPress, is that correct? In itself it is a content management system. You can investigate the WordPress communities for code to help automate your publishing. Blog entries will be stored in your WordPress database (wherever your company site is hosted), along with your other content, images, etc. You can also investigate plugins for document management, SEO and the like.

As for your SEO question: your content needs to be optimized for SEO with appropriate keywords, titles and meta-descriptions. In my opinion, that is more important than if it is on a subdomain or not. I've used the Yoast SEO plugin on WordPress and it is great for helping you tune your content for SEO -- right down to featured images and checking the length and reading level of your posts.

  • No, It is not built on Wordpress. Our company website is a web-based platform built using the Ruby on Rails framework. I am currently looking at the effects from an SEO standpoint if we use the Wordpress API and basically pull the content from Wordpress and generate it on our blog page domain. So www.company.com/blog or use a subdomain blog.company.com. The reason I ask is because it's a lot easier to use the Wordpress API compared to code a quality blog CMS from scratch. – RubyMax Dec 19 '17 at 16:16
  • Ahh.... in that case my SEO comments are still applicable. If your company name is well known, then you can add it in the meta-descriptions for an additional search reference. The WordPress angle would only make a difference if the content was linked back to the original WordPress site. Does that help? – Natali K. Dec 20 '17 at 13:07
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If I understand your situation correctly, you are considering setting up a blog site created by wordpress (on another server) and then pulling the content back to your website via an API. And, you want to know if this is going to affect your rankings in the search engines for that content?

If that is the case, I think the answer is going to depend on where/how the "wordpress site" is setup, and whether or not it is going to be stored somewhere that the public can view it and search engines can crawl it.

The issue you're facing is not where the content is stored physically, it is whether or not the search engines will view it as duplicate content. In which case, if it is view-able in more than one place, it will most likely be detrimental to your SEO efforts and greatly reduce organic search visits to your main page.

Also, over time, backlinks will inevitably be split if the content is duplicated in multiple locations. That's not ideal either.

So, it sounds like your choices are:

  • Use a wordpress site but make absolutely sure the content is not publicly accessible on the second site.

  • Or, find another solution for creating your blog posts that doesn't involve public content on another domain.

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