Sage advice on choosing your blog's permanent home

The BlogFlak Resources blog has a useful post advising caution in moving or deleting an old blog.

The author flags the very real possibility that an old, abandoned blog URL could be taken over, with whatever link traffic you may have built up co-opted for nefarious purposes:

"Never, ever delete your old blog even if you have no use for it again, that is, unless you don’t mind having it taken over by blog spammers. There’s an ever increasing use of automated software that can detect when someone stops using a blog address and it WILL be taken over..."

Excellent tip. The sad truth is - you don’t even have to delete your old blog to find your self squatted by scammers.

If you build up traffic on a blog at one location, then switch it to a different domain, there’s a good chance you can find yourself hosed one way or another anyway - depending on your platform. Moving domains (or blog platforms) naturally saps your Googlejuice - that’s just a fact of life. But when your old blog gets squatted and someone else starts dining on your link gravy, well that just plain sucks.

This exact thing happened to me some years ago, when I switched from Blogger's free Blog*Spot hosting service to my own domain. I wrote about the experience here and then followed up with much more detail about how it happened (and precisely how painful it was) here.

It hurt. At the time, I was able to make enough noise about this that even Six Apart's Anil Dash left a comment on my blog offering to switch me to a TypePad site for a discount (thanks, Anil!).

The good news was that I was eventually able to get through to the right people at Google/Blogger Support and get my old URL back. The restoration of the Blog*Spot domain was far from a perfect fix, however, as all the old content and links had been blown away, and with them all the hard-won Googlejuice from my first three years of blogging.

I later saw the same kind of thing happen at my erstwhile employer, Marqui, when they switched their corporate blog from blog.marqui.com to marqui.com/blog - losing many months of Googlejuice and killing thousands of links in the process. Ack.

The lesson here: think long and hard about where your blog will live, and plan on it living there forever.