Using the <!–more–> tag in blog posts has become second nature to me but as it’s second nature it’s also something that I realised I no longer questioned and to be honest, can’t remember if I did back in the day when I wrote my first blog post! So when I published a post the other day and forgot the <!–more–> it got me thinking about why I use it.
When I started thinking about it I went to a the blogs I’m subscribed to as I wanted to see how they did it. I noticed the SEO companies all used the <!–more–> tag while it was a 50/50 split with the non-seo focused companies.
First off (for anyone who doesn’t already know) let me explain what I mean by <!–more–>.
When you’re writing a post you can choose a part where you want a summary of your post to end and a ‘Read More’ link to appear linking to the rest of the post. Much like on the homepage of this blog where you will see a few lines and then the chance to read into the post further.
Why do I use the <!–more–>?
With my blogs it’s personal preference, I simply think it looks better and is more usable. I think it cuts a long list of posts into easily digestible chunks and lets a visitor scan the homepage of the blog and easily pick a topic of interest (without scrolling through posts that are perhaps of no interest).
On the same note as above, it also reduce page sizes/loading times as it’s loading (in our case) 6 snippets rather than 6 full posts (often with images).
When visitors come to my blog I want them to be enticed with loads of headlines and to see a full variety of the types of posts we do (with a few different authors on this site visitors it makes it more important to visitors to see the variety of topics we cover).
Why would someone not use the <!–more–>?
Using <!–more–> means visitors have to perform one more click to get into the body of your post and as we know, every click counts! If your <!–more–> hasn’t been configured then the user is taken to the end of where the finished reading the snippet and it can appear confusing or annoying (rather than being taken to the top of the page).
Also, if your opening paragraph doesn’t grab your browsers attention then they could be ignoring content that could be of interest to them (if only they had been able to easily/quickly continue reading and ge to the juicy bits).
And as for SEO?
If we consider duplicate content issues then it shouldn’t have suprised me too much that the SEO companies were using <!– more –>. If every blog posts title is a link to the full post (as is the default) and you don’t use <!– more –> then you have two copies of each post on your site (i.e Duplicate Content) which, while it won’t necessarily incurr a ‘penalty’ it can affect crawling speeds (as the crawlers have more work to do) and cause a URL to be given more importance than you might like (and displayed in a higher search result position).
My last comment on it.
Personally, I definately think using <!– more –> is most suited to this blog (even ignoring the SEO points) as I find it is more friendly and usable for any vistors but I’d like to hear from you…
What’s your opinion on the look, feel and usability?
Do you use <!– more –> on your blog?
If you do use <!– more –> then why?
For more about configuring the <!– more –>link then visit this site.
So if you’re interested in reading more about <!– more –> then visit the WordPress site.