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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Static Pages Are Not Searchable, By Default

Occasionally, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger, we see a blog owner who wishes to use static pages for blog content - and wants the blog visible, in search hit lists.
I set up search gadgets for my blog - but have noticed that the search only seems to work with posts. How do I make my pages searchable?
The blog owner does not understand the original reason for having static pages.

Many blog owners use static pages for content viewable by visitors - but intentionally not indexed, by search engines.

You can make static pages searchable - but you won't be able to use all popular search options.

You can't search static pages, using a Direct blog search.

The "Direct" search gadget works against the same segment of blog content, "/search" - as does a label search. Static pages are not indexed in the "/search" blog segment, and cannot use labels - so a "direct" search won't work with pages.

You can use a Custom Search gadget - if you get the pages indexed.

To search static pages, you'll need to use a Custom Search gadget. Since the custom gadget uses search engine cache, the pages will have to be indexed.

You'll need a pages sitemap.

Besides the drawback of search engine latency, you need to allow for having the static pages crawled. In most blogs, this means adding a pages sitemap, to "robots.txt". And, if you don't have a custom search gadget in the blog, you'll have to add one.

Once the pages sitemap is added, wait for a search engine robot to crawl the pages sitemap. Then, try the custom search gadget.

Static pages do not publish in newsfeeds - or dynamic templates.

And when the search engines are indexing the pages, remember another key difference between pages and posts. Static pages do not publish in a newsfeed, or produce dynamic template content - or offer subscription options.

Dude, hit me with a comment!