salon logo What do you do when you can’t find an archived post (yours or a fellow Slogger’s) on a particular subject? Do you have to browse day-by-day through your blog calendar until you find it? And what do you expect a visitor to do when, as a result of a search engine result they link to your home page or a day page and are completely lost trying to find the article in question?

These are issues I never worried about as a newbie blogger, but now I’m a sophomore they’ve become daily problems. I’ve taken the following three steps to solve them, and would welcome other bloggers’ advice on additional or better solutions:

  1. I’ve added a ‘Search My Site’ Google bar in the right column. Very simple, and seems to work really well.
  2. I’ve added a Table of Contents, listing my major posts alphabetically by subject. You access it by clicking on ‘Table of Contents’ at the top of the left column. I thought about putting the whole table of contents on the home page but I hate clutter. I also looked at several automatic blog post indexers but found them inflexible, and their results can look a bit geeky. My answer involves one more piece of daily maintenance however.
  3. I’ve asked Scott Rosenberg to add a ‘Search Salon Blogs’ bar on the Salon home page and/or a third Salon Blog support page (in addition to the Ranking and Recent Post pages). This should be dead easy for them to do (identical to the ‘Search My Site’ bar except it excludes the ‘inurl:000xxxx’ tag). If they don’t do it I’ll put it on my site and encourage others to copy it to theirs. We need a better way to find posts across the whole domain. It’s a community necessity.

By the way, my Referrer list for today indicates that my blog is being accessed by a site in Romania. Unfortunately it points to my home page and not the blog post (on Blogs in Business ) the Romanian article seems to be about. Hope they know how to use my search bar, and that their English is better than my Romanian!

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  1. Charly Z says:

    Weblogs work on constant updating, so information just slips into the past, recedes into memory. Only once it gets fixed into memory (the post has rolled off completely from your front page and its archive has been indexed by Google) it becomes retrievable.So, the first problem here is relying on Google. A probable solution for people coming through there is adding a note to your weblog telling them that, if they can’t find the text they searched for, to try looking at Google’s cache. Not an elegant solution and not one I’d implement (if people can’t figure out these tricks for crusing the information highway on their own, they’re roadkill, but that’s just the selfish troll within me), but one that might help them just the same.Still other ideas a-buzzing. I’ll try to write them down on my weblog to share.

  2. Dave Pollard says:

    On my Friday post on Seven Extraordinary Weblogs I mentioned the Textism blog, which includes a tool that will highlight in yellow the Googled words on your blog when a user connects from Google. Seems kind of advanced to me though and I’m afraid to try it in case I screw up my home page.

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