Include search terms in the title of each blog entry

My first shot at a title for this blog entry: “Carefully pick your blog entry title”

I’ve been doing the blog thing for a few years now and if there is one piece of advice it would be to use search terms in your blog entry titles. Each time I start a new post I spend a minute trying to think of words that will help me find the post on Google a year from now. I often rewrite the title of a post several times as I find the keywords tend to change as the post is written. If you’re post is about Delphi then be sure to include the word Delphi even if it means you can’t use that clever title you thought of.

If you’re a blogger think back to some of the blog posts you’ve written then head over to Google and try to find them seriously, do it now. Part of the reason I’m writing this post is because some of the most useful entries on the CodeGear blog are practically unsearchable. I simply can’t find them when I search Google even when I use the exact entry title.

Now, the working title is: Use search terms for your blog entry titles

Having switched to dasBlog as my blog engine I can see the search terms people used to find entries on my blog. I’m also able to reverse the process and look at the search results from these queries and what related links there were and work backwards to try and truly understand the search.

Now, the title is: Include search terms in the title of each blog entry

Later this week after Google’s had a chance to reindex my site I’ll do some experimenting with trying to search for this blog entry.

Here is an example of what I’m talking about. I’ve written one blog post about my new Motorola KRZR cell phone that has built-in GPS capabilities back on December 7th titled “GPS, maps and navigation with the Motorola KRZR K1m“. If you were searching for this cell phone’s gps capabilities what search terms would you use “krzr map”, “krzr navigation” or perhaps “krzr navigator”? My blog entry is #1 for map, #3 for navigation and #10 for navigator (btw, the Verizon GPS software is called “VZ Navigator”).

In contrast:

Here’s a Google search on the title of Joe McGlynn’s excellent article on Ruby titled 12 lines of code (btw, read that and his previous one too).

And one on Allen’s must read try…finally. post about Delphi try finally blocks. Also, be sure to read his post titled Exceptional Safety.

And one on Nick Hodges entry titled About the Turbo Product Line.

And lastly, here is one on my post from yesterday titled 3D modeling using Google SketchUp. Notice that one is #3, right after two links to Google SketchUp itself.

So, what’s my point? Well, I want to raise the profile of CodeGear’s programming communities and I’d like to cross “fixing search” off my long list of ideas.

2 thoughts on “Include search terms in the title of each blog entry

  1. I read most of your post through the mail subscription, sometimes I read them as a rss subscription and sometimes I read them from your site.
    A great thing with the mail subscription is that I then can save the mail in an appropriate place.
    Most of the time the mail contains just one blog post, but the subject of the mail i still "Most recent postings". When I sort my mail by Sender ("Steve Trefethen’s Weblog"), I can see any difference between the mails.
    It would have been great to have subject for the mail as the title of the blog post that it contians (as long as it is just one post).
    Is this possible?
    Thank you for your great blog!

  2. Hi Örjan,
    Thanks very much for the nice comment! It’s funny you mentioned this as I was just investigating this the other day. The email subscription to my blog is handled via FeedBurner and unfortunately they don’t have an option to use the post title as the subject. The likely reason is that if you post more than once in a day what title should they use? I’ll make a suggestion anyway for them to add support for this and we’ll see what happens.

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