Personal Branding & SEO: vs.

by James Ball December 29th, 2010 

In my mind there are two players on the offsite splash page field today., ( works up there just the same!)& was first to the scene on Feb 23, 2010 and enjoys what appears to be a slow and steady growth, while has arrived more recently and with quite a bit more fanfare. Also noteworthy is the fact that was acquired only 4 days after their official launch.

Shown below are my pages from both of these sites. I add them to show that the end result from either is aesthetically pleasing and quite equal.

The user interface is comparable as well, and any novice designer can expect to obtain a professional looking page and a pleasant experience with little hassle.

  jamesball-about jamesball-flavors
Backgrounds: choice icon-checkmark -
Background: upload icon-checkmark icon-checkmark
Customizable fonts, colors, layout icon-checkmark icon-checkmark
Analytics Twitter
Traffic to page
Links to page
SEO Options - $$ custom title & description
Links NoFollow NoFollow
   Bandcamp - icon-checkmark
   Behance - icon-checkmark
   Blogger icon-checkmark icon-checkmark
   Cowalla - icon-checkmark
   DailyBooth - icon-checkmark
   Delicious - icon-checkmark
   Digg - icon-checkmark
   Etsy - icon-checkmark
   Facebook icon-checkmark icon-checkmark
   Flickr icon-checkmark icon-checkmark
   Formspring icon-checkmark icon-checkmark
   FourSquare icon-checkmark icon-checkmark
   Github - icon-checkmark
   Goodreads - icon-checkmark - icon-checkmark
   LinkedIn icon-checkmark icon-checkmark
   Netflix - icon-checkmark
   Picasa - icon-checkmark
   Posterous icon-checkmark icon-checkmark
   SoundCloud - icon-checkmark
   Tripit - icon-checkmark
   Tumblr icon-checkmark icon-checkmark
   Twitter icon-checkmark icon-checkmark
   Typepad icon-checkmark icon-checkmark
   Vimeo - icon-checkmark
   WordPress icon-checkmark icon-checkmark
   YouTube icon-checkmark icon-checkmark
Add Custom Feed URL icon-checkmark icon-checkmark
Premium option - $20/year or

John Wehr, lead developer for pointed out in a Sept. 2010 Quora discussion that the two products play different roles. I couldnt agree more. In my mind its a matter of "sexy" vs. SEO. Youll have to make that choice for yourself based on your needs and preferences.  

For personal branding, I really do lean toward the sexiness of the URL. is simply more to the point and self explanatory to me. I am confident that a paid version will be offered in the future, and that with this option will come advanced analytics, more options to customize appearance, and the ability to add custom meta data. This is merely an opinion of course, but certainly what I would offer were it my project. Well have to see what AOL does with this new acquisition.

From a business perspective, should one decide that having a splash page is a benefit, gets my vote. While it is only available to paid users ($20 US per year), the ability to control meta data (title & description) alone is enough to sway my choice for business.

Are you currently using either of these products? What is your opinion on the use of an offsite splash page for business purposes and/or SEO? I would love to hear your input in the comments.

James Ball

Digital Marketing Director / Social Strategist at AroundAbout Community Magazines, Inc. - Atlanta, GA USA

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18 Responses to “Personal Branding & SEO: vs.”

  1. Shawna says:

    Great comparison for these great resources – thank you!
    I already had my pages up personally and professionally before I learned about from you but now I am definitely going to make use of both platforms so I can leverage all of their strengths!
    Great article,

  2. Rob Morris says:

    Thanks for the write-up James. I think it's probably worth pointing out *does* support Goodreads, Netflix and (and another 10+ services not listed in your article). also offers the integration of Google Analytics or Clicky for page statistics.

  3. James Ball says:

    Rob, thank you for your comment here today. There was indeed an error with the check marks next to a few of the services earlier. This has been corrected. I appreciate your pointing out that integrates with Google and Clicky analytics. This is indeed a valuable feature for potential business users!
    .-= James Ball recently posted: Bookmarked – Career Path of the Corporate Social Strategist =-.

    • Rob Morris says:

      Hi James, thanks for quick reply. Sorry to be a pain by also supports Formspring, Typepad and Foursquare (actually everything does and 10+ more).


  4. I set up a account and I have been having some real trouble getting my domain to go to their site.

    I'm going to set up an account now and see if it's any better. Thanks.

  5. This is a great comparison. I've been using but will definitely look into as it could help my websites

  6. LaurentB says:

    I don't see any nofollow on my profile
    .-= LaurentB recently posted: Les bons Blogs SEO en anglais =-.

  7. justin says:

    i think you could add into this discussion, although it leans more towards the professional profile than just a social media hub. Its only in beta testing stage so it doesnt have many of the features listed above. but from my experience its been super easy to set up and has fantastic themes by top web designers

  8. […] Personal Branding & SEO: vs. ( […]

  9. fred says:

    Interesting article !
    I signed up to with the idea of using the service has my official webpage (with my own .com domain)

    Now that my profile is completed and online, I'm worried that won't be has good has having a "regular" website for a good google ranking…
    Like you mentioned, title can't be changed, there's no extra meta data support.

    I'm using domain fowarding to my profile so, I guess my domain won't show in the search ?

  10. One thing I didnt like about, as I pointeed on my blog too is that it shows your entire post for say or Blogger or in your case the entire posta at thats not like really reader friendly as it involves too much scrolling!!!
    .-= Manveet Singh recently posted: Been in Love 30 &amp beyond =-.

    • Though what I really like about is that they pick up the posts, tweets etc faster than
      My last tweet is shown as on January 15 on
      I have mailed to support for and he told me that "There is occasionally a delay in caching the most recent information from 3rd party services, but more than a couple days is unusual" , since then my blog posts have been updated, but no luck with Twitter :(
      .-= Manveet Singh recently posted: Been in Love 30 &amp beyond =-.

  11. The SEO benefits, and extra site linking options make a easy choice. $20 a year? No brainer.

  12. Please replace previous post, spelled my name wrong… 😉

  13. Hi James, awesome compare page. Really detailed. Just wanted to mention that anyone wanting to host their own about me page or simple website they should try

    You have to host it on your own windows server but you own it and use your own domain name. Just pay one time, yours forever. Also have different versions so you could add multiple pages and make it an actual website.

    Cheers and thanks for letting me comment!