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The term blog (derived from logbook; also: weblog) refers to a virtual diary on the Internet. The author of a blog ( blogger ) can publish editorial contributions on any topic in this blog. The articles are usually presented in chronological order. The writing style of a blog is mostly informal and it is written in the first person. However, other styles are also possible, for example in Internet newspapers, where the focus is more on objective reporting.

General Information

Blogs, weblogs or virtual diaries are a relatively new phenomenon on the Internet that developed parallel to the World Wide Web. There are different views on which websites should be considered first blogs. Websites like http://info.cern.ch/ or Mosaics What’s New should be shortlisted. From the early 1990s until after the turn of the millennium, the number of blogs grew exponentially. An important impetus for this was political events, which were discussed differently in the mass media than in the private blogosphere.

Discussions took place there that were not conducted in the mass media. For example, after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 or after the Iraq war in 2003. Blogs today serve as Internet newspapers, private diaries, information and discussion platforms or as a literary medium for reflection and exchange with serves readers.

Function types

Blogs can be differentiated according to the content as well as the type of author.

Private Blogs

Here private authors report on everything that moves and concerns them. The variety of topics is correspondingly large, ranging from shopping and politics to exotic hobbies. Anyone can set up a private blog and simply write what they like.

Niche Blogs

Niche blogs usually deal with specific topics such as business, politics or technology. If a blogger is particularly well versed in a certain area, he can share his expert perspective with others via such a blog. Many journalists run niche blogs where they discuss their favourite topics. Representatives from business and trade also run such blogs. However, niche blogs can also be described according to which medium forms the main part of the blog: There are video blogs, podcast blogs, tumble blogs or link blogs.

Corporate Blogs

Corporate blogs are weblogs that are maintained by companies or corporations. These serve to improve communication with customers, to disseminate information about news or for marketing purposes. Corporate blogs are mostly written by employees, while corporate blogs like newspapers can also be written by freelancers.

Practical Relevance

Every Internet user can usually create a blog without much effort or programming knowledge. The so-called blog systems (also weblog software or weblog publication systems) ensure this. This is a content management system that allows bloggers to edit and publish texts.

Thanks to preconfigured templates, blog authors can choose a graphical interface for their weblog. Comment functions and the chronological order of the posts are also available. Software solutions for blog systems are both web-based and can be installed on your own server. The best-known representatives are DrupalWordPress, Movable Type and Blogger.com. Depending on the software selected, bloggers then have extensive functions at their disposal, for example, to create posts, threadspermalinks or track and pingbacks.

Feeds for users or bogrolls for a clear presentation of thematically related blogs can sometimes be used. Since blogs are ultimately nothing more than websites, bloggers must comply with the Telemedia Act. If the blog is considered ‘business-like’, it must include an imprint.

Importance for SEO

Blogs have also become more relevant for search engine optimization due to their spread around the globe. Because basically, it’s websites that provide information and links, even if the CMS system behind it has been simplified for users. This is how guest articles on blogs became popular in order to place links in an editorial environment.

Product presentations on private blogs in a niche area were also often used to set one or the other link to a website. In many blog systems, there is the possibility to insert a trackback into a blog post if it contains content that comes from another blog. The trackback notifies the author of the other blog by pinging the linked resource.

Blogs have also been increasingly used as satellite sites to change the number of links to a web project. With all these measures, however, it is extremely important that they appear natural or that they really are. Because Google and Co. consider some of these measures as a manual intervention in the positioning of the search engines. Under certain circumstances, blogs that are specifically exploited to increase the number of links have a negative effect on a web project. However, this does not mean that natural measures such as guest articles with valuable content, product recommendations or links from blogs should generally be rated negatively, because the quality of the content and the trustof the resource being linked from can certainly cast a positive light on a web project.

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