SEO:Multi-page article handling

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alledia
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SEO:Multi-page article handling

Post by alledia » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:02 pm

Short description

Multi-pages articles are created using the "page break" button. A single article is divided by Joomla automatically in several pages, with a nice Table of content also automatically generated. With such an article :

* each page should have its own sef url, including the current page individual title
* the html page title should also be different on each individual page, reflecting the title entered by the user in the backend

Expected benefits/ Problem solved

1 - Having sub-page title in SEF url adds relevant keyword to the url

2 - Having save html page title for different pages is one the single biggest issue in terms of search engines valuing your page

Potential issues

Need to handle cases where users did not set any title for sub-pages. Can revert to default : /Page-1, Page-2, etc

Comments/References

sh404sef does this currently on 1.0
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shumisha
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Re: SEO:Multi-page article handling

Post by shumisha » Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:33 pm

Comments/References

sh404sef does this currently on 1.0 and 1.5!
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AmyStephen
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Re: SEO:Multi-page article handling

Post by AmyStephen » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:01 pm

Steve -

I think it's a bad idea to use multi-page articles for the reason you are stating. But, I think it's a really bad idea to assign the same atomic unit multiple URLs.

How do you see W3C's article Cool URIs don't change and Linked Data. If we are moving to Semantic Web - this is a really bad idea, IMO.

Amy

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Re: SEO:Multi-page article handling

Post by shumisha » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:02 pm

Hi Amy,

I think multi-pages articles are a useful thing, if the URL/page title is done all the way as it should. It is a handy way of breaking down a long story in a few pages, with a nice TOC (think links). I don't see how Cool uri don't change and Linked data apply here, if what is said above is applied. As said, you can already do this with sh404SEF, have consistent SEF URL and page title for each individual page. I don't see how this can be bad, as long as it is done properly. Which I agree is not the case today, and is the purpose of this proposal

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Re: SEO:Multi-page article handling

Post by AmyStephen » Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:29 pm

In Berner-Lee's Four Rules for Linked Data, he says:
1. Use URIs as names for things.
2. Use HTTP URIs so that people can look up those names.
3. When someone looks up a URI, provide useful information.
4. Include links to other URIs. so that they can discover more things.
An article is a thing. That's what should be assigned the URI.

Cutting the article into pieces is an application process - the four pages of the article are not "things." In fact, if you use Mootools and the slider to break an article up - you not only get a sexy effect and save a round trip, but you do not even need another URL.

In the Cool URLs piece, Berners-Lee talks how to design your URL, what to leave in and what to leave out. It discusses the need to prevent application changes from impacting the URL.

Hope that helps,
Amy :)

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Re: SEO:Multi-page article handling

Post by shumisha » Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:45 pm

Hi,

I agree with this principle, but not how you apply it (One URL = one "page" has been a motto for sh404SEF for years) . But that is as seen from the outside, from a visitor or search engine standpoint.
To use (almost) your words, "the four pages of the article are "things."". If they were only one thing, then you would not need to break up the full article in 4 sub-things. As soon as you feel the need to use pagebreak, they become independant "things", and they do need to have 4 different URI (and page titles, etc). This is what we are proposing here.
The fact that internally Joomla just sees it as one "article" is just that : an internal thing to Joomla, that no one needs to know about. Just an easy way for people to manage their content.

Mentionning mootools and slider is an interesting point. I don't know how the slider degrades, but assuming it degrades nicely, that means a user having javascript disabled (that includes S.E.) will see the whole page content (the 4 sub-things as just one entity). In that case, having only one url is the thing to do.
Should the slide degrades to navigation links allowing to go back and forth between each of the 4 pages, you would need 4 URLs. In the latter case, we would be in the same situation as when using pagebreak. Each sub-page is an independant page, which you can only access through a GET request, and therefore each need its own URL and page title.

Again, I think the fact that you see it as just "one thing" is your interpretation, coming from your knowledge of how Joomla manages this internally. But from the outside these are 4 things, and rightly so. It is absolutely normal to break up large pieces of content into smaller pieces, easier to read.

Regards
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Re: SEO:Multi-page article handling

Post by joomlord » Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:36 pm

an example where multi pages per article are necessitated:
multi-page reviews, such as pcmag's multi-product reviews, certainly deserve different pages per product. It makes navigation easier, distinguishes each product. Of course this is still one "review" since it is tied together by the theme, summary, feature comparison chart, etc.
But - putting all on one page, even with neat sliding effects and whizbangs galore, won't make it more readable or useful to the reader. If the reader comes to my site, expecting to see "Canon 80 gigapixel" and it's on a page full of other cameras (and the relevant Canon part is hidden by whizbangs) then the reader may feel cheated.


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