Monday, November 07, 2011

Jump Break, Main Page Contents, And Search Engine Indexing

This blog is large (by some standards), and contains articles about various subjects, generally related to production and use of Blogger blogs.

The various articles in the blog are written as posts, with the various posts combined, using embedded links, in different ways. Each new post appears on the main page, as it is written - and the various posts, appearing together on the main page, create opportunities for confusion, with the readers of the blog.

Long ago, the task of moderating comments was rather depressing to me, as the focus of many of the comments made me think that nobody was actually reading the articles. Maybe, I would write an interesting post about URL availability; but when moderating comments, I would find questions about posting comments on static pages. Or maybe a post about dynamic template concepts would attract complaints about referer spam.

Why should I publish my advice, if nobody cares enough to read the articles and comment relevantly?

Just previous to this post, I wrote about Stats displays, and the contents of the Posts lists.

In the process of writing the latter article, I discovered one obscure benefit of using "Jump Break" - and how "Jump Break" affects main page view, search engine indexing, and finally, relevance of comments to post subject.

Why the apparent lack of focus, of the comments? One reason is that many different posts, published one after the other, appear in sequence in the blogs main page.

People will read the posts - and the search engines will index the posts - using main page view. Only after newer posts force the older posts, one by one, from main page view, will the individual posts have any significance - to people or search engines.

Using my example above, and looking at my main page when this post was new, one would have found a post about URL availability, published a week after a post about posting comments on static pages. By the time the search engines indexed the latter post, I would have published the former post. The post about URL availability would be visible in main page view, ahead of the post about posting comments on static pages.

Clicking on the link to my blog, attached to a SERP entry referencing static pages, the reader will read my main page from the top, find the previously visible post about URL availability, and the Comments link following the post. Clicking on the first Comments link found, the reader will post his question about static pages, against my post about URL availability.

So, what effect does the use of "Jump Break" have on this problem? Using "Jump Break" on all main page posts makes it more likely that a potential reader of the blog, following a home page link to the blog, has more chance to see all recent posts, with their summaries.

The reader is more likely to scan down the page, see a summarised relevant post, click on "Read more" - and read the relevant post, on the individual post page, before commenting.

Additionally, with the posts summarised in main page view, the search engines will find less content on the main page. The full posts will be indexed as individual post pages, more than as part of the main page. This gives more weight to the individual posts, and less weight to the main page.

When indexed using a robust sitemap, the posts will appear individually in SERP lists, decreasing reader main page confusion. Each SERP entry, pointing to an individual post, will be more relevantly focused - giving it more weight than a SERP entry, pointing to main page view.

In summary, careful use of "Jump Break" leads to:
  • Better focus on individual and relevant blog articles, by the search engines.
  • Less confusion to the blogs readers, when accessing the blog using SERP hit lists.
  • Less frustration for the blog owner, when moderating comments.
It's really a win-win-win, when used consistently. And, it's so simple to apply, on a post by post basis. Check it out, in action.

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1 comment:

Adam said...

Another benefit, maybe: it promotes good writing discipline, that is, a well-written lede paragraphs or two that helps readers by summarizing or at least foreshadowing content.

Okay, some writers may find that a bit of a straightjacket, but I think it is more helpful than not most of the time.