Version 3 of the site software

Hi all,


I just installed version 3 of our software tonight. There is very little change to the user experience (only the Reviews page has changed), but I have reorganized the URL structure to improve our ranking in search engines. All common old URLs should be redirected to the new URL, but please update your links, just in case. The official listing URL is now http://webfictionguide.com/listings/<listing name>/, where listing name is the sanitized version of your title. For instance, my listing is http://webfictionguide.com/listings/winter-rain/ -- just look up your listing and grab the new URL.


The primary change is that all tags are now top-level URLs. For instance, the "online novels" tag used to be http://webfictionguide.com/listings/editorial-preference/tagged/online-novels/, and is now http://webfictionguide.com/online-novels/.


I think we've covered the whole site in terms of testing, but if you encounter anything that is broken, please let us know -- either here or using the feedback email address.


Thanks!


Chris.


You would do this mere hours after I add a "Review me" link to my website.


My luck strikes again. On the upside, you're right, search engines really don't like duplicated content. Makes you look more imporant that you really are.


Oh, this also means there's only one place I should be getting referrers for. I kinda liked seeing whether people were just browsing or if they'd come through via an editorial review. But oh well.


Hi Spotty,


We do "duplicate" our content as necessary to provide natural browsing (for instance, each listing appears in each tag it is listed under, so that paging within that tag works properly). However, we do mark all secondary copies as "noindex" -- meaning search engines should only pay attention to the /listings/ copy. In this version, we have moved the sort order control into a query string parameter, in order to flatten things a bit. The alternate sort orders are still marked "noindex", but removing the sort order from the URL makes for shorter URLs and (I suspect) better page ranks. It also means we can move the tags up to the top, as the sort order is now on the end of the URL, not the start of it.


Chris.


Wow, most of that went over my head. noindex, is that in your robots file? Anyways, nice to see some streamlining. It's always nice to have shorter URL's, see the success of sites like tinyurl for evidence of that. SEO is a minefield though, mostly because of all the funny tricks people try to use to get (illegitimately) better results. Bleh, why can't everyone just be honest?


"noindex" can be controlled in the robots.txt file, but it can also be controlled in the individual pages using a META tag. View source on a listing under /listings/ and then under (say) /fantasy/ and check near the top of the HEAD tag.


Great job Chris - thanks :D


I really like the "all reviews" link as I have been eager to read more reader reviews and was finding it a little hard to locate them with the old set up.


Sounds like a pretty solid design modification. Hasn't affected my links at all, thankfully.


mine either, but I updated it anyway. Never know when google won't give you an inbound link for whatever reason.