If You’re Using a Free Web Host for Your Band’s Website, Your Fans Won’t Find You

I’ve written before about the phenomenon of bands relying solely on a MySpace or a Soundclick website to make information accessible to their fans. Today, there’s more news to discourage you from relying on free hosting sites.

Specifically, if you’re hosting your band’s weblog at BlogSpot, expect it to disappear from search engines, and perhaps even be blocked by some ISPs. “Spam bloggers” have been using free blogs (from Blogger and BlogSpot) to generate hundreds of thousands of fake blogs (also called spam blogs or “splogs”) to rig search engine rankings in their favor.

It’s the next wave of a trend that started with the abuse of “free for all” links pages back in the late 90’s. If you posted a links page on your site and went to bed, the next morning, you’d wake up to a pile of the nastiest links you’d never want to see — stuff that would even make G.G. Allin cringe.

Splogs may not always be so intentionally vile, but they serve no useful purpose. They’re randomized sets of links and words designed to confound search engines.

So, at least one search engine’s owner has declared that blogspot.com links will not make it into their index. And I expect others to follow.

It’s no longer a matter of “looking professional” to your audience — it’s about actually being on the map. With TypePad available for $4.95, and plenty of cheap web hosting options that offer built-in WordPress installations, there’s no reason to sacrifice being found online for the sake of a few bucks.

4 responses

  1. It also makes sense to pay for it. Domains are cheap, and hosting is also cheap, but it still makes it look more professional and more serious when you can tell someone to go to mybandsite.com rather than myband.somefreedomain.com.

    It at least shows anyone interested that this band is serious. It’s a good investment.

  2. Not only for professionalism and search engines, but for having real control over what’s on your page. Don’t let your fans be led away by someone else’s ad at the top of the page.

    And since promotion is the name of the game, I do cheap and effective websites for bands. Email me. 🙂

  3. one of the things I like about blogspot though is the audioblog feature. I don’t see that many other sites are making this feature available. audioblogs are great for musician travel journals on the road though I don’t see many musicians taking advantage of this feature.
    what are your thoughts?

  4. Joe Taylor Jr. Avatar
    Joe Taylor Jr.

    Hey, Molly!

    Actually, my colleague Eric Rice has built a fantastic audioblog platform at http://www.audioblog.com — it plugs in to *any* blog platform. If you’re using WordPress or MT or Typepad, you can dial into a phone and add content directly from your phone, which is perfect for you road warriors. It’s only $4.95 a month — a steal.