Addicted to novelty since 2001

Making Your Website Blogger-Friendly

I’ll stop pimping ebook-related stuff soon, I promise. However, I did want to point to our first substantive blog post from the ebook blog. It’s an excerpt from the book, and discusses ways in which you can make your site more friendly for social media creators:

Ensure that social media creators can link to any and every page on your website. This goes double for websites with online product catalogs. Make it easy for bloggers to write, “I really love this!” and send visitors to your website. Too many sites rely on Flash or arcane organization to display their products. As a result, the URL in the address bar doesn’t reference the particular product you’re viewing.

Both these companies make great products, so we’re reluctant to pick on them, but Matt & Nat and Crumpler both have disappointing websites in this regard. Bloggers are left writing, “click ‘Products’, then scroll to the fourth bag from the right, then pick the blue one…”

I’m totally cheating by calling it “12 Ways”, but hey, the Internet loves a list. If you like the post, please consider Digging, Del.iciu.using (oy) or Stumbling it.

3 Responses to “Making Your Website Blogger-Friendly”

  1. Joe Clark

    Your advice would be better if you actually followed it. What you mean is not just that everything should have a permalink but that it should be a concise and trustworthy permalink. Your blog entries, with their every-word-in-title-no-matter-how-crushingly-and-irrelevantly-long slugs, fails on the first count. URLs with sessionIDs and so on fail on the latter. And abide by generally accepted constraints, like no spaces in filenames.

    Ideally, a permalink should be easy to dictate over the phone.

    Just having a permalink isn’t enough.

  2. darren

    Joe: Thanks for that. First off, I should say that I wouldn’t hold up this website as a paragon of best practices.

    That said, I disagree that the constraints you describe are “generally accepted”. I just checked the top 10 blogs on Technorati’s Top 100–arguably the ten most popular blogs in the world. All of them has a URL structure similar to mine. That is:

    * None of them truncate their URLs
    * They all have spaces in the URLs (usually replaced by dashes).

    I’ll check another 10 or 20 if you like, but I suspect we’ll find that my site reflects the generally accepted practice for blog post permalinks.

    As I’m sure you know, there’s a good reason to have complete titles in URLs: search engine optimization. That’s valuable real estate, and it helps searchers (both on-site and off) find the page they’re looking for.

    For me, “dictate over the phone” isn’t a common use case. I don’t think anybody’s ever tried to dictate a complete URL to me. Plus, I’ve got 5000 posts on this site. That’s a lot of pages to go back and add slugs for.

    A bunch of my smart, geeky friends tell me that URLs are becoming less and less relevant with the rise of search. I’m not sure about that, but they’re usually right about this sort of thing. I mention that only to say that I usually follow their example.

  3. Richard

    Most people use whatever URL structure the software is programmed by default to use. The default is what’s generally accepted.

    I’ve also never dictated a full link over the phone. Much easier and less error-prone to get that person’s email address and promise to send them a link.

    “As I’m sure you know, there’s a good reason to have complete titles in URLs: search engine optimization. That’s valuable real estate, and it helps searchers (both on-site and off) find the page they’re looking for.”

    Good URLs convey at least some information about the content. When someone sends me a context-free link to any of Darren’s blog post, I know immediately something (if not necessarily everything) about the content.

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