I’ve been using a Tumblr account for a year and a half now. Recently I became aware of some problem with the way search engines such as Google are (not) indexing my posts. I’m no expert on the subject, but I posted my thoughts on my Tumblr blog. For reasons that should be obvious, I decided to post them this WordPress blog as well… Read below.

Yeah, Tumblr is definitely a disaster for SEO. I have had massive problems with pages not being indexed on Google. The URL structure is worthless and post titles are virtually non-existent. If you want a blog that ranks well on Google you would do yourself a favor by not using Tumblr. (Bjorn Stromberg: “Tumblr and SEO”, May 22sd, 2008)

To be fair, it worth reading Topherchris post on the subject of search engine optimization and Tumblr (he works for Tumblr).
I became aware of the problem with this post. It was reblogged as is by a WordPress blog (Innovation is Dead). If you try a Google search for “Beastness Jaclin”, the WordPress blog comes up first. My Tumblr post doesn’t even come up (it uses tags, it’s making use of descriptive URLs and, of course, in my settings, I’ve allowed search engines to index my blog).UPDATE – March 13, 2012: My Tumblr blog now comes first. I know for a fact that the website Innovation is Dead has been taken offline. I can think of three explanations for the new ranking: 1) The disappearance of the WordPress blog help the ranking of my Tumblr blog on this search; 2) Tumblr actually improve its SEO; or 3) Both of the previous hypothesis apply.
I’m aware, as Topherchris puts it, that it may be “related to how one’s template is designed and content is constructed”. But it’s a pain nonetheless. I should be able to get good search result for all of my post without having to tinker with my CSS template. After all, simplicity is what made us choose Tumblr in the first place. I wrote to Tumblr support about this. All I got was this:

“We can’t control what Google and other search engines choose to index and show. For further assistance you could try contacting Google or another search engine directly.” (april 22sd, 2010)

Notice they didn’t point me to a source of information, didn’t mention tags or meta-data and didn’t say a word about the template I’m using. Hell, I would have been interested in buying a template that as a good SEO system.
So for the past two months, I’ve been playing with export/import tools : I’d like to move everything from this Tumblr account to a self-hosted WordPress blog. Granted, Tumblr is easy to use and, for me, it’s a great archiving tool for my personal needs. But as I understand it, I can’t do anything serious on it unless I start doing heavy research on how to modify my template. Which I won’t have to do on a WordPress blog (I’ve been using this SEO plugin for years and it works great).
I know this post won’t show up on Google, so I’ll publish it on another WordPress blog I own.


Subscribe to our newsletter

This newsletter serves one purpose only: it sends a single email notification whenever a new post is published on aphelis.net, never more than once a day. Upon subscribing, you will receive a confirmation email (if you don’t, check your spam folder). You can unsubscribe at any time.