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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Shortcomings of Blogger

So, you have a blog on Blogger and you think that the since Blogger/ Blogspot is owned by Google, it will automatically be optimized for Google search ranking? Wrong! Blogger sucks at Search Engine Optimization. There are many workarounds to overcome Bloggers weak SEO handling but why its so complicated is beyond me.

For example, their is certain weightage of the <meta> tags, specially the description meta tag written as follows:

<meta type="description" content="Shortcomings of Blogger when compared to Wordpress and Typepad"/>

While you can add such a tag for your Blog (by editing HTML of the template you are using) but don't you need a separate description for each post? Does the Google owned blogging service allow that? Yes, but its not scalable at all. You can use conditional tags which compare the page URL with the post title and then write a description for that post; something like the following:

<b:if cond='data:blog.url == "http://blog.thejaywalker.net/2009/05/going-to-sweden-for-studies.html"'>
<meta content='A must read if you are going to Sweden for higher education' name='description' />
</b:if>

<b:if cond='data:blog.url == "http://blog.thejaywalker.net/2005/09/pakistani-students-in-sweden.html"'>
<meta content='A general profile of Pakistan students in Sweden' name='description' />
</b:if>

But so many-ifs are not only hard to maintain they are plain ugly. Why not just provide a Description field when you are editing your post so that you can write the right meta description tag with your post?

More information on adding meta tags to blogger is the next step for the eager soul. Also, Meta Tag Generation "tool" might be useful for some.

More on other shortcomings in some later post...