This week’s Blogger Idol topic was one dear to my heart – Blog Tips. Some of the tips there are excellent (its never too late to submit yours). One in particular has been valuable to me as a Moveable Type user. In fact just one of his tips might have doubled the number of visitors of my blog today. Nicholas submitted Optimizing your MovableType blog for Google.
His post is longish and a tad technical but it is well worth a look if you’re using MT. (If you don’t use MT you might not find the following that helpful) Most of it I’ve already incorporated into this blog previously (a lot of it by fluke) but of particular use to me was this short paragraph:
‘While I’m on the subject, my recollection is that, by default, the title of an individual entry archive with MovableType is the name of the blog, followed by the name of the entry. Get rid of the blog name part of this – it’s dead weight that will drag down your relevancy quotient with Google.’
Before the redesign of this site a few months back I had made this change – ie I had taken my overall blog title ‘LivingRoom’ out of the title of my individual archives. In the redesign it resorted back to the default without me realizing it. As a result my post titled William Hung – She Bangs was being listed by Google as ‘LivingRoom >> A Space for Life >> William Hung – She Bangs’.
As it happens that page already ranked pretty highly for a search for ‘William Hung’ on Google (36th yesterday).
Nicholas’s article reminded me that I needed to get rid of the title from my Individual archives and so I did so two days ago. So now the words ‘LivingRoom >> A Space for Life >>’ do not appear in the title of any of my individual archives. All the google bot sees and lists when it comes visiting my site is the title I give each post. Today that post is simply called ‘William Hung – She Bangs’. It is now a lot let cluttered and more direct.
So What? – Ok, so what is the difference? Surely my page’s title doesn’t make a difference to my ranking on Google!
An hour ago I logged onto my stats page and noticed my last hour’s hits were around double what they normally are. I thought I must have gotten a link from a big site. Referral stats showed this was not the case – the increase was largely due to an increase in Google hits on a variety of pages (including the William Hung page).
Google has picked up the change to the way I’m titling my individual pages already (it has only made the change of some pages so far – it takes time for it to filter through the system) and the difference is significant enough to them to increase my page rankings from 36 to 20 on the William Hung post. I can only presume the same thing is true on other individual pages also. It will be interesting to note the changes on other posts over the next few days as Google continues to index the rest of the site.
Google takes notice of the titles of your pages. It treats them as keywords and will archive them accordingly. If the name of your site has keywords in it that relate to every post on your page it might be worth including them in the title of every page (ie if my site was about living room furniture I’d keep it in) – however if your blog’s name is more generic or cryptic in the way it relates to your site it might be worth jettisoning it from your individual (and maybe category) archives titles.
Disclaimer – I’m not saying you’ll double your readership with this tip – you might, but it takes a lot more than this to find readers. Rather it might be helpful as part of a wider strategy. I once wrote a series of posts on Finding Readers for your blog that might help develop such a wider strategy. Hope it helps.