Thursday, June 20, 2013

Categories, labels and other blog bits

When I removed the long list of labels from the front page of my blog I spent quite a while thinking of  a set of categories to add to my blog posts. Recently I realised that I was often forgetting to add these to my posts. I am wondering if I should go back and retrospectively add these categories to my posts.

Do people visiting my blog or stumbling on it as a result of a search with Mr Google find the categories  useful or necessary?  I believe in using lots of descriptive labels so that my posts may be easily found by search engines.

In reflecting on my behaviour I realise that I use the search facility on my blog if I need to find one of my posts but if I want to find a post on another blog I always use Google or some other search engine.

When thinking what descriptive elements or finding aids we need to include on our blogs we must put ourselves in the shoes of our readers.

So, dear readers, how do you find the blog posts you are seeking? Which of the above elements are most important to you as a blog reader?


Jackie van Bergen said...

I keep meaning to start putting labels on my posts but then forget or think I'll do it later. I do use the search function within my blog and other blogs to find what I want. I encourage family members to use the search function and have moved it to the top on the RH side. I don't really know what my readers want though.

Pat Richley-Erickson said...

Search option on your site.

JL Beeken said...

If you add categories to your posts will that also change the URLs?

For instance,

could become

If it works like that, the search engines will have to re-index all your posts and the links to the old URLs will all be broken.

Tags are something else. You can add them, take them out or rename them. About 5% of my traffic uses the tags in the sidebar. They also use the search box. I think it's important to have one of those.

I don't think tags have that much to do with Google or other search engines. Content is indexed by relevancy and that's a bigger issue. The title of your post should accurately reflect the content.

John Sparrow said...

I found your blog through Geneabloggers, or from someone else's blog, not sure which now. I rarely search for blogs with a search engine. So categories really aren't useful for me. If there is a blog that I think I will find useful, I add the URL to my genealogy journal. (The latter is something that I'm managing to keep going. Wonders of all wonders).
Keep up the good work.

Jenny Lanctot said...

Before this week, I would have said "bah" to the categories. But Monday evening, I received an email from a lady in Canada who had found a blog post about my gggrandfather by clicking the "Canada" category on my sidebar. She had some helpful tips, which ended up helping me find some new documents.

But that's not the important part. The important part is that it turns out that we have a common ancestor ... so she's a COUSIN (albeit distant). Categories = cousin bait too!

as for JL's comment - the categories don't change the URL - at least not on my WordPress blog (and you can have more than one category per post). Blogger may be different. I converted all my tags to categories when I switched from Blogger to WP.

JL Beeken said...

Changing categories definitely changes my URLs (on WordPress) because my permalinks are set up to work that way.

It may be different now but when I started it wasn't possible to set the permalinks as domain/postname. Throwing a category name in between was the most SEO-friendly way of satisfying the requirement for putting something there.


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