Blogs. Almost everyone has one (or in my case, three or four), follows one, or wants to create one. With the exception of a select few people who might live under rocks, everyone at least knows what a blog is. It’s like the journal you kept in the fourth grade under your bed, except know it’s on your computer and out there for the world to read.
Sites like Tumblr have revolutionized the blogging experience by making building your site and maintaining it almost effortless. Tumblelogs have two key features that help users create an enormous backlog of posts in a very short time – “notes” and “reblog”. Through the latter button, users can simple click and reblog content found on another user’s site. This is one of the things that has made Tumblr such a hit among the masses, it is also one of the reasons that it is not in Google’s good graces.
Search engines like Google use two key factors when creating rankings for searched sites: content and backlinks. Since Tumblr makes it so easy to copy content found on other blogs, it takes a lot more effort of on the part of a Tumblelogger to achieve a high ranking in results … because reblogging can easily become a duplicate content nightmare.
Now if you are the everyday user, like me, this doesn’t really matter to you. You are simply networking and sharing content with the Tumblr community, not necessarily looking to gain search engine popularity. On the other hand, we’ve seen that many big brands have been adopting Tumblr.
As Soshable points out, Tumblr’s popularity is all based on how you plan on using the site : naturally in the Tumblr-sphere … or as an avenue to try and rank.
Tumblelogs are set on subdomains of tumblr.com or on their own domains hosted by Tumblr. For most platforms, this is extremely useful in SEO as the search engines consider subdomains as their own unique website in many occasions. Blogger, a site that is owned by Google, has literally millions of subdomains that act as stand-alone websites where people can create theirblogname.blogspot.com and have that site rank well for their keywords.
Tumblr does not have that luxury. Somewhere along the lines, Google and the other search engines realized that it would be not only possible but encouraged by Tumblr and other people duplicate content and generate backlinks. As a result, it takes a lot more effort to get the search engines’ attention for stronger rankings.
Another factor that hurts Tumblr on the search engine is the lack of unique title tags for many of the pages. Those created as “Text” get the title of the story as the title tag, but pictures and videos share the same title tag as the homepage of their Tumblelog.
Other free sites, like WordPress.com or Google’s own Blogger, are better-fitted for the serious blogger; the one looking to make a name for themselves in the blogosphere. Do you have a Tumblr? Do you agree with Google’s issues with the community-based site?