What Are Blogs, Anyway?

The word blog is actually a combination of two other words — Web and log — so if it sounds made up, that’s because it is. A blog is a chronologically ordered series of Web site updates, written and organized much like a traditional diary, right down to the informal style of writing that characterizes personal communication.

Think of a blog this way: It’s a kind of Web site. All blogs are Web sites (the opposite isn’t true, though), and what makes them blogs isn’t the content or creator — it’s the presentation.

A blog can be many things: diary, news source, photo gallery, even a corporate marketing tool. Blog content can be text, photos, audio, and even video, and bloggers talk about nearly any subject you can imagine.

One of the reasons blogs have become such a popular way of publishing a Web site is because they’re particularly good at generating high search engine rankings. With a blog, you’re more likely to come up high in lists of search results for the topics you discuss, because your posts are fresh and current.

Search engines give an extra boost to Web pages that have the most recently updated or created content on the keywords being searched. And better search engine listings mean more visitors, more readers, more comments, and a more vibrant community. Individuals and companies have been quick to take advantage of the medium to reach out to Web users.

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