Sunday, March 21, 2010

Auto Pagination And Broken Links To Archive And Main Pages

Among the many odd circumstances connected with the controversial Auto Pagination feature that was introduced a month ago, we see reports by a few bloggers of broken inlinks, caused by segmentation of archive and main pages. Most reports specifically mention broken SERP entries, which link to content that's now found in an archive or main page segment that's reached by one or more clicks of "Older Posts". The new and currently un indexed segments have URLs which differ from the SERP entries.

This effect is similar to a problem which I wrote about some time ago, which affect SERPs linking to main page content. Both the archive pages and the main page in a blog are more likely to be indexed by the search engines, because there is more content on these pages, and some content has already been indexed. Some posts, lacking inlinks completely, and depending upon the publishing frequency, may never be indexed except as archive or main page content.

In the case of the SERP entries affected by page segmentation, the potential reader may click on an interesting SERP entry which lands them on a page which contains only the later posts for the period, with the rest, including the content featured in the SERP entry just referenced, behind one or more "Older Posts" clicks. Finding no relevant content on the displayed page segment, the potential reader abandons this SERP entry, and moves on to the next in the retrieval page.

The bloggers with blogs subject to this treatment are naturally concerned about loss of potential readers, and cite this scenario to justify their demands that Auto Pagination be made optional; meaning that they want it turned off for their blog.

Fortunately for them, the broken inlinks are a temporary problem. Blogs that are properly publicised will be re indexed by the search engines, periodically. As the re indexing occurs, the content of the new page segments will be indexed, and will replace the current SERP entries. This effect is similar to the gradual re indexing of blogs re published under a different URL, for instance as part of publishing to a custom domain.

You can - and should - monitor the indexing of your blog, page segmentation or not. Here, the diagnostic reports provided in Google Webmaster Tools will be quite valuable.

The inaccuracy and latency, in indexing blog content, is an inherent problem with search engines in general. It's not a problem unique to Blogger blogs, and certainly not to the Auto Pagination feature in Blogger. It's simply a problem which we all have to live with.

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1 comment:

Adam said...

Nitecruzr, thank you.

I am still seeing a problem with google searches for posts I made back in July of 2009. See, for instance, http://tinyurl.com/brrrokn .

How long will this indexing take?

It would be helpful if you could explain what you mean by "properly designed and maintained." If there's something we can do or avoid doing that would help with this problem.

Ironically it sounds as though those of us who do maintain our blogs by adding new content will always have some content potentially subject to this behavior, between the time it slips of the front page and the time it's archive is indexed.

I've posted some of this on the help forum too, just not sure where you prefer this sort of Q&A to happen. Thanks again.