Personal Branding & SEO: vs.

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.

About the Author: James Ball

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


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