Wednesday, September 13, 2006

What's In The Header or How Do I Keep My Blog Searchable?

I have written various articles about customising the blog headers, in various ways, to use graphic elements in place of boring text.

In comments for The Real Blogger Status - Beta: "Customising The Header In A Beta Blog", Peter aka Enviroman writes
I think keeping the Header is important as removing it will remove the blogger tag $BlogPageTitle$ which is important for search engines.I did it another way. I added a "Add a Page Element" to the Header and put the graphic there.


Very good, Peter. So here are the headers for The Real Blogger Status (HTML), and The Real Blogger Status - Beta (XML), for your perusal.
Firstly, Beta.
<head>
<title><data:blog.pageTitle/></title>
<meta content='The Real Blogger Status: What Blogger Won"t Tell You' name='description'/>
<meta content='.......' name='keywords'/>

Secondly, Classic.
<head>
<title><$BlogPageTitle$></title>
<meta name="description" content="The Real Blogger Status: What Blogger Won't Tell You"></meta>
<meta name="keywords" content="......."></meta>


I think you'll see the "data:blog.pageTitle" (XML) and "$BlogPageTitle$" (HTML) records are at the top of the blog header, and undisturbed.

Far below, you'll find
<h1 id="blog-title">
<ItemPage><a href="<$BlogURL$>"></ItemPage>
<$BlogTitle$>
<ItemPage></a></ItemPage>
</h1>

The latter code is what is removed and / or altered, to put graphics in place. This does not disturb the former code, in any way.

It's also good to observe the limitations of the Blog Header page element, in New Bloggerblogs. Both the Blog Title and Blog Description fields accept HTML content, such as "<a href...>" and "<img src...>". Unfortunately
  • The Blog Title field is sized for blog titles, and has a limited length.
  • So, the solution would be to put the code into the Blog Description field. But, the Blog Title field can't be blank.
  • And having code in both Blog Title and Blog Description results in a cluttered and very messy header.
See The Real Blogger Status - Beta: Restore The Main Page Link To The Title, and Customising The Header In A Beta Blog, for my experiences with these limitations.

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