If you’re an SEO, this bad practice that Buffer follows will make you cringe.
Buffer has two blogs. One is built on the /Library subdirectory and the other is built on the /Resources subdirectory.
However, this can be a successful SEO strategy.
Until 2015, the buffer(.)com domain was owned by another company. Therefore, Buffer had two websites: blog(.)bufferapp(.)com and bufferapp(.)com.
When they shifted to buffer(.)com, they didn’t shut down the blog(.)bufferapp(.)com website. Despite having two websites, it was confusing for both users and search engines.
Because blog(.)bufferapp(.)com was a traffic beast.
At its peak in 2018, this subdomain was driving around 650,000 sessions a month, ranking on about 735,000 keywords, and bringing in about $1 million in traffic value per month (taking the Google Ads value of this traffic).
The removal of the old blog
By the beginning of 2019, the blog(.)bufferapp(.)com website was gone.
Kind of… Buffer moved all of the content to both the /Library and /Resources subdirectories.
Thanks to a smooth 301 redirect, Buffer deleted their old blog without losing much organic traffic. As a matter of fact, the traffic of the new blog doubled.
The /Library redirect became an SEO moat:
The /Library subdirectory drives almost 14x as much organic traffic, ranks on 4x as many keywords, and has a traffic value that is around 18x higher!
Buffer redirected the old posts that were optimized for search engines to the /Library subdomain.
Whereas all articles that likely didn’t meet certain search-driven criteria were shifted to /Resources.
But the /Resources directory is a backlink juggernaut: It has 532,000 backlinks, compared to 277,000 backlinks on the /Library subdirectory.
What can you learn from this?
Even if your content production is heavily focused on SEO, you can still produce other types of content that contribute to marketing goals that are different from SEO.
It might just have to live on another subdomain or subdirectory.