I want to add a blog to my site as a tool to keep my customers updated. I also want to use it to improve my ranking and show that my site is an active one. I am currently using Google's Blogger to test the water and haven't connected it to my site yet.
My question is: How does Google know that the blog is part of my website if the address isn't under my website address or hosted by my server? It isn't under www.mysite.com but is mysite.blogspot.com.
In reference to your question, Google doesn't know that your blog is part of your website, because it isn't. But don't worry, Google isn't supposed to know stuff like that. All they know how to do is follow links and determine relevancy. They don't attempt to determine ownership because that's not important.
That makes sense, but does it then help my site ranking in any way, or am I better off just creating a static html archive and adding to it on a regular basis?
I think you're perhaps confused by having heard some old myths that blogs and fresh content somehow magically help rankings. Nothing helps your 'site' ranking as a whole. Every page is judged on its own merits. Adding new content to a website doesn't provide you with any special rankings boost, it just keeps the search engine spiders coming around often so they can index the new stuff.
This is not to say that a blog isn't helpful. If you create one as a helpful resource for your site visitors, it can also help for SEO purposes because you can link from your blog posts to other pages on your site – thus helping those pages' link popularity and perhaps ultimately their rankings. But even better than using your blog to link to your own stuff, if you write amazing content on your blog and get the word out about it, other bloggers are apt to link to your posts.
Should I create a blog for SEO purposes?
This parrot that I talk to in the pet store told me that I should create a blog for search engine optimization purposes. Can you speak to this?
Blogs have no special powers of high rankings. What they do have (if done correctly) is fresh, unique content. Search engines do tend to like that, regardless of the format. If they know any given site is adding new articles on a frequent basis, they will come around often to index it. Blogs are certainly one way of easily adding new information to your site. Newsletters archived on your site can provide a similar benefit, as can archived press releases, or a popular forum.
The 'pinging' done by most blog software these days also seems to help get blog posts spidered and indexed very quickly, which is a plus. In addition, blog posts will also show up in blog searches such as Google's Blog search, and Technorati Blog searches.
- Jill Whalen was a respected and highly sought after SEO Consultant / Speaker, CEO of High Rankings, an SEO Consulting company in the Boston, MA area from 1995 - 2013.