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Our company has a website, and now we would like to also have a blog in order to improve SEO. We use EC2 to host our website, and I would prefer having the blog run on its own EC2 server.

I have read that running the blog on subdomains like blog.example.com as opposed to www.example.com/blog will hurt SEO, so we have decided to go for the latter option. One of my developers describes that we could possibly still utilize a dedicated server for the blog if by using some kind of ".htaccess" trick. Since I do not know exactly what that trick is, this might not be a good question, but I was wondering whether having two different IP-addresses host one website will hurt SEO? Will they get their own Page Authority?

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    As a system administrator I suggest to do what makes technical sense. – Sven Mar 24 '15 at 11:53
  • Why would /blog be another server? – Martijn Mar 24 '15 at 14:24
  • Using multiple servers makes absolutely no difference on your SEO at all. But I would avoid this as the first option simply because it adds complexity and additional points of failure. – closetnoc Mar 24 '15 at 15:47
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The only two ways to host a subdirectory such as /blog on a different server are:

  1. Use a reverse proxy. This will end up involving both servers. This can end up slowing the site down because it involves two servers, one of which re-serves the content.
  2. Use a framed redirect. This makes it appear to naive users that the content is in the subdirectory, but is actually hosted on another server. It won't work for search engines.

You could put the blog on a subdomain: blog.example.com. That allows you to separate the hosting. A subdomain is fine for a blog from an SEO standpoint. Google can treat a subdomain as part of the main site. That is especially true when the content of a subdomain is the same topic, registered in Google Webmaster Tools by the same account, interlinks to the main site, and has the same copyright. The number of IP addresses hosting your site is not a relevant factor for SEO.

I would suggest moving your blog to a subdomain so that you can easily host it the way you want.

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Firstly, IMO I'm not sure why you would want to put your blog onto a different server. Unless, of course, if your expecting a huge amount of traffic.

You are however correct with the use of the sub domain for the blog. The reason being that sub domains i.e. www.example.com (as www is a sub domain) are classed as an entirely different website to the actual domain (example.com). In theory, it is much better practice to run the website on example.com/blog rather than blog.example.com.

The concern I would have with the redirect would come from this Google article. The reasons for using a 301 (I am assuming here that you will be using a 301)

  • You've moved your site to a new domain, and you want to make the transition as seamless as possible.
  • People access your site through several different URLs. If, for example, > your home page can be reached in multiple ways - for instance, http://example.com/home, http://home.example.com, or http://www.example.com - it's a good idea to pick one of those URLs as your preferred (canonical) destination, and use 301 redirects to send traffic from the other URLs to your preferred URL. You can also use Webmaster Tools to set your preferred domain.
  • You're merging two websites and want to make sure that links to >outdated URLs are redirected to the correct pages.

Google will the eventually use the redirect to remove the old pages from the search and then update them with the new links. Now I'm not entirely sure on what the effects could/will be if the link is the exact same but reside on different servers.

An example on how you can do this is from the following answer on serverfault.

In the apache config in the VirtualHost section of www.domain.net add:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/time/
RewriteRule ^/$ http://xxx.xxx.xxx.2/ [R,L]

If you want to hide the URL you should use mod_proxy in the redirections (this conf is not tested):

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/time/
RewriteRule ^/$ http://xxx.xxx.xxx.2/ [P,L]

To conclude this I would argue that a better option maybe to keep them both on the same server but look at implementing a CDN to reduce the load (if you are expecting a high load). There are a few good one's and will also help to increase your presence globally as well. For more reading have a look at the Wikipedia page

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Without reading the first paragraph, the answer is dependent on how the server is configured and how well it performs. If it is one that is constantly out of memory with intensive disk swapping happening in the background, then the pages will likely load slower and yes it will hurt SEO because google uses speed of page delivery to factor what websites get indexed.

As for the answer to the body of your question, Its much better using actual domain names than to use public facing IP addresses, especially if you want to get index with search engines.

These two URLs go to the same server:

www.mycompany.com/blog
www.mycompany.com

If you are trying to redirect people from the main domain to the blog folder, then use a 301 redirect. In PHP, making a redirect is as simple as this:

<?php
header("HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently",true);
header("Location: www.mycompany.com/blog",true);
?><a href="www.mycompany.com/blog">Click here to continue</a>

I apologize for the super basic HTML for the redirect page, but that alone works for every modern web browser. Just save this php file as index.php in the document root for www.mycompany.com and remove or rename all other files that start with index.

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