Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Finding My Blog Reviews

Many of you are completely unaware of how many series books I have already reviewed in this blog.  I have already done the following.

Adventurous Allens
Biff Brewster
Billie Bradley
Brad Forrest
Brains Benton
Bret King
Cherry Ames
Hardy Boys #1-190
Hardy Boys Undercover Brothers (in progress)
Hardy Boys Adventures (coming soon)
Jenny Dean (coming soon)
Ken Holt
Lance Todd
Linda Carlton
Mill Creek Irregulars
Nancy Drew #1-175
Nancy Drew Girl Detective
Nancy Drew Diaries
Phyllis Whitney
Power Boys
Rick Brant
Roger Baxter
Sandy Steele
Secret Circle Mysteries
Three Investigators
Tom Quest
Troy Nesbit
Wynn and Lonny (coming soon)

I have also partially reviewed many other series.  So, how can you find the reviews? It's quite simple.  Blogger has something called "labels."  For each post, I use one label. My label for my reviews of Nancy Drew #1-56 is "Nancy Drew Reviews."  My label for my Nancy Drew Girl Detective reviews is "Nancy Drew Girl Detective Reviews."

To find the labels, scroll down the right side of any page in the blog.  Click on the label that interests you.  For labels that have many posts, I have also discovered that many of you are unaware of how to find the older posts.  For instance, when the "Nancy Drew Reviews" label is selected, the review for #56 shows at the top of the page, and the last review at the bottom is for #38.  But that's not all of them.

In the lower right underneath the review for #38 is a link titled "Older Posts."

I highlighted the link in the above image.  That link can be selected to find the reviews for Nancy Drew #1-37.

I use labels correctly, unlike many bloggers.  First, let's distinguish between tags, labels, and categories.  In Word Press, blog authors use both tags and categories.  The tags are for search engine optimization.  The categories are used to organize posts so that readers can find them.

In Blogger, which is what I use, we only have labels.  Unfortunately, many Blogger users think labels are for search engine optimization, so they place a bunch of labels on each post, labels that don't help the reader find anything.  Instead, the blog writer should use one label per post.

Rather than use an actual blog, I am going to make up an example.  Let's say that a blog writer has published a review of the revised text of Nancy Drew #18, Mystery of the Moss-Covered Mansion.  An incorrect use of labels would be to use words and phrases like "exploding oranges," "NASA," and "Florida."  Remember, labels are for locating posts.  Nobody will try to find all Nancy Drew posts that mention "exploding oranges," especially since only one post will mention them!

When I was reading the Hardy Boys Digests, I wanted to read reviews of each title.  I found a blog that has some reviews, but that blog publishes infrequently and not in order by title.  This wouldn't have been a problem if the blog used the labels properly. The blog is hosted by Blogger, but the blog owner uses the labels for keyword spamming.  I cannot figure out which books this person has reviewed without scrolling through the entire blog.  I am not going to bother trying to find the reviews.  The blog has lost my views since the labels are no help at all.

The last time I brought up this topic, I was told that I was wrong.  Here are some articles that explain that the labels are to be used to organize content by category, not for search engine optimization or for keyword spamming.

What Exactly Are Blog Labels or Categories?
What are labels and how to use labels in Blogger to sort your content?

There are numerous other articles that say the same thing about the proper use of the labels for blogs.  If you have any kind of blog, I strongly encourage you to change the labels into categories instead of random keywords.  I don't read blogs very often, because most that interest me cannot be navigated.

This blog now has 1,267 posts.  Nobody would be able to find anything if I had random keywords as my labels.  The blog would be a chaotic mess.

My goal is to make it easy for you to find what you want to read.  I took the same approach when I created my website, Series Books for Girls.  I tried to avoid the issues that plague many sites.  Several major series book websites have an unclear hierarchy, and I have to use Google to find where certain information is located.  It shouldn't be that hard.  I tried to create an obvious hierarchy.  As a precaution, I also created a site map so that readers could find every page on the site regardless of whether my hierarchy makes sense to them.  Many sites don't have a site map.

The bottom line is that websites and blogs must make information easy for readers to find.


Michelle De said...

That is certainly a lot of reviews! I enjoy reading your reviews. By chance do you think you will ever read and review Dana Girls or Penny Parker. I didn't see them listed with reviews unless I totally missed it. It seems like a lot of people do not enjoy Dana Girls as much as ND but I always did.

Jennifer White said...

I probably will get to them eventually. I have a bunch of books on my reading list, but the plan is to move back into girls' series and to reread some of them eventually. I always enjoyed the Dana Girls.