PAII Conference, Austin 2010 – Blogs, Lies and Videotape

Acorn Internet Services, Inc. believes strongly in educating innkeepers in our industry. This education includes full disclosure of all products and software so they can choose the best solution for their inn. We support both WordPress Customers and Google Blogger Customers. We also strongly believe that this decision is the innkeeper’s choice, which should be made based on their technical skill-set and budget limitations.

It was brought to our attention that a vendor speaking at a PAII sponsored session turned a teaching opportunity into a selling opportunity. Innkeepers were led to a SPECIFIC product by the vendor presenting invalid supporting information, and we must speak up.

We know that when innkeepers are not provided full truthful disclosure, and are being misled, they are not fully equipped to make the best decision for the success of their business.

Below I will address 7 inaccuracies provided in the handout titled: Blogging for Success which was provided in conjunction with the Blogging sessions sponsored at the Austin 2010 PAII conference. 

All those who attended these sessions may want to take a moment and determine for yourself if you too have been miss-informed and what that really means to your bottom line.

Knowing that PAII sponsored sessions are not intended to be used for a sales pitch for any one product or vendor, but for the overall education of the attending innkeepers, we encouraged Jay Karen, president of the Professional Association of Innkeepers, to speak with this vendor presenter in advance of the Austin 2010 show.  We requested that these PAII sponsored blogging sessions provide only accurate information for the sake of all attending innkeepers, and not be slanted towards selling the vendor presenter’s preferred Blogging product: WordPress.  I would highly encourage you to contact Jay Karen and/or Michele McVay and share your thoughts if you feel this requirement wasn’t upheld during these sessions, or you too realize you were being misled during these sessions at the benefit of the vendor.

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Outside vs. Inside, Where should your blog go? For your blog to have the best effect in pushing your sites ranking higher you want to have the blog inside of your site. If it is not you are simply going to have to do Search Engine Optimization on two web sites.


The following is an Invalid Statement: “For your blog to have the best effect in pushing your sites ranking higher you want to have the blog inside of your site.”

This is absolutely UNTRUE.  Your blog posts DO NOT need to physically reside on the same server for the internet community (IE: search engines) to think they are part of your site.  Today’s internet is very sophisticated and powerful, and is fully capable of seeing both PHYSICAL and VIRTUAL connections of data. Many companies utilize multiple servers using a VIRTUAL connection between their data so the internet “sees” them as being together, even though the data resides on different physical machines.  This is the same with blogging.  Your web code can be on one server and your blog posts on another.  As long as your hosting company has them connected properly with a sub-domain setting, Google sees all the data as one site. 

Regarding Search Engine Optimization “…you are simply going to have to do Search Engine Optimization on two websites.”    This statement is both inaccurate and misleading. 

Whether you have a PHYSICAL or VIRTUAL connection to your blog, YOU MUST build your blog posts with SEO in mind.  The use of any blog product, whether it be WordPress or Google Blogger, WILL NOT automatically make your blog SEO friendly.  It’s your responsibility to learn how to write a blog post so it will be seen in the search engines.  There are 3-4 basic steps that all bloggers must follow for SEO.  It’s not about the platform, it’s about the content.

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Example of an outside blog address: blog.mysite.com

In Regards To: blog.mysite.com.  This type of sub-domain set-up is the VIRTUAL connection that allows the internet to see that your blog posts are truly “PART” of your web site without needing to reside on the same server.  This type of setup has been an accepted internet practice for many, many years. 

Examples Include: 

  • maps.google.com
  • images.google.com
  • news.google.com

These are all sub-domains of Google and yes, all this data is considered “PART” of Google’s domain google.com.

You can also see this same sub-domain naming convention in action by looking at all the National News Blogs.  You will see that recommended sub-directory naming convention provided at the PAII Blogging sessions, “/blog”, is rarely used by any of the National News companies.  Most all of these news blogs are set up as sub-domains. 

CNN Web site: www.cnn.com
Supporting CNN Blogs: politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com, ac360.blogs.cnn.com, ricksanchez.blogs.cnn.com, behindthescenes.blogs.cnn.com, and so on.

Fox News Web site: www.foxnews.com
Supporting Fox News Blogs: glennbeck.blogs.foxnews.com, gretawire.blogs.foxnews.com, health.blogs.foxnews.com, hannity.blogs.foxnews.com, cameron.blogs.foxnews.com, and so on.

MSNBC Web site: www.msnbc.msn.com
Supporting MSNBC Blogs: firstread.msnbc.msn.com, worldblog.msnbc.msn.com, hardblogger.msnbc.msn.com, dailynightly.msnbc.msn.com, photoblog.msnbc.msn.com, and so on.

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Pros and Cons for an outside blog address:  Limited Customization Options
Pros and Cons of an inside blog address:  Integrates with the layout of your website

Google Blogger may also be customized to match your site.  See Samples at:
https://acorn-is.com/portfolio-blog-samples.html Google Blogger also has just released a new “Template Designer” for the Do-It-Yourselfer.  You can read more at: http://bit.ly/dmkcFe

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Pros and Cons for an outside blog address: You do not own the software or the content
Pros and Cons of an inside blog address: You own the software and the content

 
Comments Regarding: You do / do not own the Software or Content.  These inferences are just plain wrong.  You do not and can not own either Google Blogger Software or WordPress software.  They aren’t for sale, and you cannot purchase them or infer ownership of the software.  On the other hand, of course you own your own Content whether it be in the WordPress Database or the Google Cloud.  If at any point and time you want to switch from WordPress to Google Blogger or vice versa, you can use your backed up content data, convert your content to the new system and switch.

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Pros and Cons for an outside blog address: Not good for main sites SEO

It is an invalid statement to say that a sub-domain setup such as blog.mysite.com “…is not good for main sites SEO”  This is easily proven to be untrue, simply by following the steps below for any sub-domain blog setup.  We will use 1825inn.com as an example.

  • Step 1: Go to www.google.com 
  • Step 2: In the search box type site:www.1825inn.com
    You will see all of this site’s web pages 
  • Step 3: In the search box type site:blog.1825inn.com
    You will see all of this site’s blog pages 
  • Step 4: In the search box type site:1825inn.com
    You will see ALL of the pages associated with this site including both web pages and blog pages.
    IE: Google sees all this content as one site presence.

Want even more proof that blog.yoururl.com works?  Check page rank for blog.1825inn.com (or any other sub-domain blog for that matter).  Both the web site: www.1825inn.com/ and the blog blog.1825inn.com have a page rank of 4. 

Obviously the vendor telling you that a sub-domain will not support SEO is either uniformed at the more technical and sophisticated uses of sub-domains, or is simply trying to smoke-screen you in order to get you to choose their preferred blogging product and pay for these services.

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Pros and Cons for an inside blog address: Best Solution for sites SEO

Miss-Leading Statement: “Best Solution for sites SEO”  Really?  Where is the proof for this statement? With use of our Intell-a-Keeper booking tracker product, we have proof that customers using Google Blogger Blog posts are contributing to actual bookings.  We have proof that valid search phrases are displaying Google Blogger blogs posts in the search engines (IE: when the content was well written for SEO).    We have proof that Google Blogger Blog posts written properly are supporting improved targeted web site page placement.  We have proof that Google Blogger Blog posts are creating inbound links to the web site.  If you’re going to say that WordPress is the Best Solution for SEO then let’s see the proof that it truly is better for SEO than Google Blogger.  We’ve stated over and over, it’s not all about which blogging product you choose, it’s about the content you feed into your posts.   The product choice is up to the innkeeper, but both SEO equally well when installed and used correctly.

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Important Points: Matt Cutts of Google Video on why WordPress is the Best blogging option:

http://www.howtomakemyblog.com/seo/googles-matt-cutts-wordpress-the-best-blogging-platform-for-seo/

This is absolutely not true:  “Matt Cutts of Google Video on why WordPress is the BEST blogging option…” Are you going to watch a 46 minute video?  Most innkeepers won’t, but I did, and Matt Cutts NEVER EVER SAYS WordPress is the BEST blogging option.  He says it’s a GREAT choice, but never says it’s the BEST.

Beware anytime you hear a vendor say “BEST” or “ONLY”.  There is no “BEST” in the blogging world, only what works and brings you more revenue.

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The bottom line: Are you hiring a company that really cares about you and the success of your business?  Or are you falling for a really smooth sales-pitch?  Get proof.  Take the product for a test drive.   Talk to other innkeepers.  Do some investigation on-line.  Check your statistics.

Today’s most successful innkeepers are those who get involved.  Don’t ever assume that just because a vendor sounds like they know what they are talking about that they really do.  Check references.  Get the facts.

We at Acorn Internet Services welcome your questions.  We want to prove to you that what we do works.  We are driven in finding the best solution to match your needs.   We never try to fit you into a predefined box even though we completely understand why other companies do this:  It’s easier to hire and maintain staff who only know and support one product, which obviously increases profit margin for their company, even if it isn’t always the best solution for the innkeeper.

All our innkeepers get their very own unique box, customized to match their own unique and individual needs.

Once you know the facts about your Blogging choices, you decide the best product for your skill level and budget, and get blogging!  We know it works, and so do our WordPress and Google Blogger customers.

Lisa Kolb
President and Co-Founder
Acorn Internet Services

One thought on “PAII Conference, Austin 2010 – Blogs, Lies and Videotape

  1. Thanks you Lisa,
    I have been trying to clear up misunderstandings about blogs since attending a session at the November 2010 Nashua PAII Conference – NOT yours – and feeling a bit bamboozled. Your clear descriptions and accurate examples make me doubly appreciative that New Brunswick B&B and Inn Association selected Acorn-IS to build and optimize our new site.
    Sleep well these holidays. You and your team are doing a great job!

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