Google Basics

Google sends out what are called spiders, bots, or crawlers to follow links from page to page throughout the Internet. When it finds a new web page it has not indexed, it crawls the code on the page and sends the information gathered back to Google. Bots visit indexed websites again and again so the listing stays fresh, but how often they do may vary.

When Google bots crawl your blog's content and links, they pick up the content and send it back to Google to index in the search engine. Google indexes just about anything you published, you may still get hits for years by people searching Google for your content.

It is possible to block Google from indexing your website. Assorted scripts are available with the help of a web developer or a tech-savvy friend, you can implement into your own blog to block the spiders from crawling your code and content. Try the search engine. Some blog services, like Blogger,, and Vox offer to block them for you if you choose to do so in your settings.

There are reasons why people would want Google to index their sites and reasons why they would not want. Chew on some of these and decide if blocking Google and other search engines from crawling your site is your choice.

Business or pleasure
Do you have a personal or community blog for recreational fun or a blog to represent your business? A lot of bloggers have both, so it is important to consider what you are willing to share on your personal blog and if you mind your professional connections stumbling across it.
If you do wish to run a blog for your personal use and have a professional business presence online or off, you may want to make your personal blog private or take the steps to block Google from indexing your blog, even though it does not guarantee privacy. It is simply a small step. You may also choose to use a pseudonym for your personal thoughts.

Shameless self-promotion
If the purpose of your blog is to gain exposure, allowing Google to crawl your site and index your URLs is a great step. Make sure you also include plenty of appropriate keywords to help target user searches even further and allow you to climb in the Google ranks. You may still choose to use discretion when discussing your personal life, but given the nature of your career, it makes perfect sense to use your name or stage name.

Public Blogs

It is obvious that most blogs are public. It is a public blog if when is out there and anyone and everyone who stumbles across it can read it. Public blogs consist of a variety of topics, from personal to genre-specific, but the sole fact that anyone can look at them is what makes them public blogs.

Public blog does not mean that it belongs to the public at large, nor do the masses have any entitlement over one's blog, it simply because it is publicly viewable. Some bloggers feel pressure from their readers to provide. You do not have to provide anything other than what you have promised. If you have a business blog or a blog that advertises some specific service to its readers, then it is important to provide what you have touted. However, if you have a personal blog that you manage and update at your leisure, your only responsibility is to yourself, not the public.

A public blog may or may not have comments open. A public blog does not belong to the public; it is simply visible to the public. The choice of whether to allow readers to engage with your blog by opening comments or trackbacks is entirely up to you.

Semiprivate Blogs

Catharsis is great but sometimes you need someone to listen and perhaps offer some advice. Keeping your blog secret does not allow for that. It makes perfect sense to keep your blog private if you are blogging about something personal. But if you want to share with family and close friends, semiprivate blog would be more appropriate.

A semiprivate blog is one that allows you to set varying permissions based on membership groups. You can accomplish this with a blog platform such as ExpressionEngine or Movable Type, but the quick and easy way is an out-of-the-box solution. A handful of hosted blogging services allow this, such as Blogger or Vox.

Vox is extremely easy for you to have a public blog, private blog, and semiprivate blog all rolled into one. As a Vox member, you can set up various member groups in your Vox Neighborhood. From there, you have several options for who can view and comment on each individual entry or the blog as a whole.

You can see how this would provide the opportunity for you to share only what you want to share and give you some control over whom you share it. While you still have the freedom to set the permissions by individual entry.

Private Blogs

Some people want to blog for themselves as a catharsis, and a blog platform enables them to do so easily, while archiving their writing and providing a simple printable display. While you could do something similar with a word processing program, some people are techie types and prefer to use a blog platform to their advantage.

Blog platforms also allow you to categorize your entries, order them easily by date, and clearly chronicle whatever it is you are keeping track of, be it your daily life, food intake, or workout regimen. A blog is usually accessible anywhere that has an Internet connection.

Some hosted blogging services, such as Blogger, offer easy ways to make your blog private by just clicking a few settings. Your blog will be viewable to the public or open by default.