Just the other day i searched different blogs for som very specific content. Instead of using Google, I went to a blog, used the blogs searchfeature to search for the term “blogging software”. I was trying to locate this: 16 Essential PC Applications For Bloggers.
Unfortunately I coulden’t remember either the headline or where I’ve seen the blogpost.
So I went to problogger.net and did a search. And when the result came up I knew that even the great Darren Rowse makes mistakes. Don’t get me wrong; I’m a huge fan of Rowse and have several of his books. But as far as building/coding a searchresult page that “just works” for humans, most sites fail. And on Problogger.net the searchresults shows the full post for all results which is just wrong. I’m not a wizard in SEO but I do know something about UI’s and how a human looks at a wepage. And a searchresult, where I have to scroll for 30 yards, is not ideal.
Most of the results from the search dosen’t really help me. So i refine the search with a ” at the start and end of the search term. Now searcheing for: “blogging software”, i’m getting somewhere. Approx 60% down I hit gold.
Perhaps Google is so dominating that you as a blogger, dosen’t count on your readers searching directly on your blog anymore. Fact is that regular webusers are so acustomed to using Google that they expect the same killer results and layouts on your websites searchresults. The normal user has no need for a full post searchresult. The normal user needs the big picture and a way to filter through content fast.
If you have a good searchindex and a good searchresultspage, often you don’t haveto build long and tricky navigational strings.
In my humble but stubborn opinion, the searchresultspage is often very overlooked. Even an overview by month or a wholde sitemap can be tricky to get just right acording to your type of content.
Sinse this blog is just getting started and I’m blogging on SharePoint and not WordPress, I don’t even have any searching working yet. But I do have some essentials that I need on any searchresultspage:
- Show the headline (pretty important yes?)
- Show the postdate (let people know how old the content is)
- Show the number of comments (let people know where the fuzz is)
- Never show more than 100-150 characters for an exercpt (allows for more results on less space)
- Never ever show full posts on searchresults pages (gives less pageviews and more headaches)
How about you?
What do you think? Do google have the “all-time best way” for a searchresultspage or could it be done better?