Supplementals & Overall Site Crawability
Posted 21 May 2007 - 05:25 AM
I have a website with a Glossary page of which most of these pages are in supplementals (about 400 pages). Which seems to me very obvious (because of not that much content on these pages). I am wondering now if this affects the overall crawability of my site? Should I perhaps consider not to let crawl the glossary pages? Or perhaps I should make just 1 page with the complete glossary and make use of internal linking? However I might have a usability problem then...
Thanks for your feeback ;-)
Posted 21 May 2007 - 10:56 AM
Personally I'd be thinking of breaking it down aphabetically somewhat
Glossary of terms
A-G , H-R , S-Z
Each breakdown being a list to that page (in this quick example 3 pages). In each of those pages, I'd be sure to use a correctly formated Definition List for each term and its definition. I'd have in-page anchors for each term too, so that linking to a specific term is still easy enough.
The number of pages to use in your own case has to be determined by usability for all users, both those who only want to quickly get a definition of one term, but also for users (including spiders) who may want to skim through the whole glossary checking to see if there are terms they don't know.
I would suggest as a guideline that less than 15 term-definitions per page may cause far too much clicking to 'browse' the glossary, but that more than 30 term-definitions per page would make it just a little too difficult to quickly find a particular term, and would make the pages a little heavy.
Posted 21 May 2007 - 04:08 PM
Though not as predictably as they once did, I've noticed that sometimes shorter pages are more likely to end up as supplemental, and less likely to stay indexed without some freshening up &/or changes in incoming links.
Posted 24 May 2007 - 08:13 PM
tsim, if you have seperate pages for each term with only limited information then that would be one major problem that needs fixing straight away.
Glossaries can be simple listings of terms and definitions on one or a few pages, or they can go the Encyclopaedic route with more detailed definitions on seperate pages. If you have a simple glossary with a few terms and short definitions, then you are better off listing them on one or a few pages. But if you take the latter option then you need to ensure you have enough information on that page to qualify as a useful page. If we were to take the example of defining "Google", then a whole page where the core content is "Google: Search Engine" simply doesn't cut it. But a full page with more details such as (in this example) history, founders, salient points, (PageRank, Adwords, etc) and perhaps an image or two, would make a page worth reading and more likely to get referrals.
Either way, you need to display them in a usable and useful way. If your glossary is short and simple, then perhaps a single page will do. But listing 100s of terms on a single page that take a few cups of coffee to load is, well, just plain silly (and there are heaps of such glossaries out there ...) With a large glossary you need to break it up into chunks. BK's suggestion of letter groups is good for a medium sized one. With anything larger than 50 terms or so I would suggest splitting it up Alphabetically, aiming for at least 5 terms per Letter. (You could combine some letters that have minimal terms, such a combining Q with R, XYZ, and so on.)
The number of terms per page is up to preferences, I like 10 per page myself, but 15 or even 20 is fine, depending on how the whole glossary is constructed. Whatever you do, don't put your glossary in frames. I may be easier for the user, but will create heaps of problems with SE listings.
Having built your glossary, the next trick is to get it noticed and indexed, andas we all know, this takes links.
Onsite links can come from the main navigation, site map, and possibly definition links from main pages to the appropriate glossary term page. IE., on a page discussing the latest in Google stuff, defining the first instance of the term "Google" with the short definition as a rollover and linked to your definition pages gives not only a link but also needed anchor text.
Also, if you are using a dynamic CMS system, then you could look into listing appropriate terms on article pages with links to their definitions. IE., put your thinking cap on.
Offsite links can come from various sources, the main being directories. These would include:-
Glossarist This is the largest directory of Glossaries, but as it is my site I will say no more.
Frank Deitz's Glossary Collection has a large listing of glossaries categorised by subject.
Glossaries by Language is a good resource,
Your Dictionary has many pages listing glossaries,
and DMOZ has their section on Subject Dictionaries, an incorrect section title, but useful nonetheless.
Other possibilities are Translation Directories as translaters are always looking for glossaries, particularly ones that translate between languages.
Other promotion possibilities as getting links from other sites discussing similar topics, magazine-like publications who like to include references to glossaries when covering a particular subject matter, and so on.
In short, build your glossary well and get links.
Edited by Woz, 24 May 2007 - 08:14 PM.
Posted 24 May 2007 - 11:26 PM
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