Blogging service Posterous closes.

It's taking 15 million blogs with 63 million pages down with it.

Any service, any business, can fail at any time. Yours can too - but only you have your best interest in mind. Others will throw you under the bus, and drive it, as long as that serves their business interests.

You have to own your content and you have to own the publication.

It's real simple: your blog, your site.

Brand Equity, Ranking Loss

Forget the "generous" option that Posterous bloggers can download their own content. What are they going to do with it?

They can upload it elsewhere, maybe on their own site this time, but Posterous won't setup the crucial web server status code "301 This Page Is Permanently Available Elsewhere" that tells search engines to take all their ranking information for the old URL and use it for the new URL.

To Google that newly published old content may look stolen; they'll think that your former content thieves are the older, more original source.

New old content, no historical ranking information, and possibly a "that's content theft" flag. How's that for breakfast?

If you're not sick to your stomach yet, consider this: what about the years of building content brand equity as

Where are people going to look? When they see you're gone will they think "oh, that service must have shut down of course!" or will they assume you have shut down?

The Hosted Brand Content Apocalypse

At least 30,000 moved from their own blog to one serviced by Posterous.


But that's nothing yet.



And with the new blogging/publishing tool in town, guess what's starting to happen?


Do the searches. Read the reasons. "Safer", "reach", "SaaS", "lower cost".

I can sum it up in two words: yeah right.

What You Have To Do To Do It Right

  1. Have a blog.

    You need a place to call home. That's your blog.

    You need a place where you can drop the corp speak and tell it like it is. That's your blog.

    You need a place where you have the flexibility to target any search phrase without having to come up or wait for a marketing process.

  2. Host it on your own domain.

    If you're at have your blog at

    Don't even go for a subdomain like -- that's my personal opinion; take it or leave it.

    Oh, and stick with blog in the URL. Don't be cute and call it or whatever. Blog is what the Internet has grown to know and expect. Work with us, not against us.

  3. Power it with self-hosted blogging software.

    Don't use Blogger, Posterous (closing), Pownce (closed), Tumblr, Yahoo's Geocities (closed), or any other service to publish your content. Not even if they let you use your own domain name.

    If ever
    when the service shuts down, adds advertisement, or changes its terms and conditions, moving your content out of their system into another is not fun, often painful, and frequently costly.

    Instead, install WordPress (get it from -- is their "we'll do it for you" service).

    Installing takes literally just 5 minutes. Here's how.

    If you can't or won't do it yourself, pay someone to do it. It's 5 minutes of work, 10 if they have to invent a database, 15 if they also take a coffee break; you figure out how much they should charge max.

  4. Builds inroads to your home base.

    Establish your presence on social networks you really should be at.

    Make a connection in its profile between the social account (someone else's business interest) and your site and blog (your business interest).

    It's good to just talk with people along the path; don't be a freak and try to invite everyone back home all the time.

    It's kind to be a Mensch and help people out without shoving your business card in their face or telling them you have just the thing they should buy in order to solve the problem.

    Be a presence and just make sure people know the road to your door.

What You Shouldn't Do

Simple: don't make your brand and another's a singularity.

It should never just be

It should never just be

People should think of it as your brand having a presence on the other site.


  • Have a blog
  • Host it on your own site
  • With your own software
  • Build your brand
  • Don't be fooled


Ruud Hein

My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.

Ruud Hein

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10 Responses to “How To Not Make The Mistake 15 Million Posterous Bloggers Made With 63 Million Pages”

  1. 301-redirects are nice but they're not THAT important. There is, by the way, no way that people can avoid using third-party services. If your Webhost goes down, you're screwed. If your server goes down, you're screwed. If your Webhosting service provider goes out of business, you're screwed. If your domain registrar goes out of business, you're screwed.

    15 million Websites is not very many. A lot of them will be inactive anyway.

    • Ruud Hein says:

      nice but not that important? Write good content, get it ranked. Have people reference it, quote it, copy it. Take your own content down; put it up somewhere else. No redirect. Google now thinks the other stuff is real and yours is fake.

      But yes — we all have to use some sort of third party. But not owning your content's location — really not a good idea.

    • Most active Websites are on subdomains. That's just the way the Web works. It's pointless to argue with people about whether they should register their own domains. That's just not going to happen in most cases.

      • Ruud Hein says:

        I hear what you're saying — and it's a fair bit of realism — but I don't think it invalidates the case of pushing best practices.

        If a client wants to also have a presence on Tumblr; fine, awesome, go for it. If they want their blog to be — I'll advise against it without hesitation.

        And if they're not a client? Then still! I rather be in the "I told you so" position when a blogger loses content, income, ranking, authority, or all of the above, than be on the end of "hell, why didn't you tell me?!"

  2. Free blogging services always gives a painful ending to our hard works.It is seen that some of free service providers say that there is no limitation but every thing has a limit such will deactivate or delete any blog with prior notice and never gives an chance to take a backup due huge traffic [ bandwidth problem] , similarly tumblr also does the same.
    You are exactly 200% right as we doing hard work in contents creation and we have to full control on it which can give only a self hosted blog.

  3. Tom Jamieson says:

    Sad to hear this news about Posterous. While I didn't use it for my primary blog or content, it was nice to have it as a sideblog for fun stuff. Oh well, as they say in sports, "Next man up!"

  4. […] your content to Tumblr.) But this is an Alderaan-level event. As Ruud Hein writes, in a post called How To Not Make The Mistake 15 Million Bloggers Made With 63 Million Pages . Hein writes for one of those weird search engine sites called Search Engine People, but I think […]

  5. I followed this article from a recent Copyblogger link about Google+ authorship… I have to say, I agree 100% and cannot imagine investing too much in one of these services. I run a handful of blogs to cater to several different interests. One of the most minor ones is on Blogger. I have faith in this system because Google runs it but, it is risky to have my site over there. Thus I have made it my least interesting and the one that requires the least amount of work. I am also doing it to test the success of a particular blog as far as SERPs are concerned, given it is using the platform and on-page SEO Google loves.

  6. […] you don’t think this matters, let me just remind you that when Posterous closes on April 30, it will take 15 million blogs and 63 million pages of content down with […]

  7. […] you don’t think this matters, let me just remind you that when Posterous closes on April 30, it will take 15 million blogs and 63 million pages of content down with […]