Sunday, January 07, 2007

This week's Scottish Blog Roundup is out now. Lot's of bloggy goodness as usual.

On an only very slightly related subject, I still haven't finalised the new layout here yet. I'm in something of a quandary with regard to my blogroll and that's the reason why it hasn't reappeared in the new template yet.

The social aspect of it has always appealed (although I've always been very bad at maintaining the thing and there are any number of bloggers who I meant to add but never got round to).

But I don't really want the clutter of listing so many links, especially now that I've only got one sidebar. Also, there are disadvantages to listing an enormous number of links on your front page when it comes to google rankings and that sort of thing. For those reasons, I'd sort of like to trim it down. But that'd mean removing some from the list and even if I didn't want to add more, that'd be very difficult indeed. The problem is that there are just too many good bloggers and not enough space.

I'm wondering whether I might do something similar to Nosemonkey and list them on separate pages with a link from the main page. Anyone got any thoughts on the matter?


doctorvee said...

I prefer to have the blogroll on a separate page. I reckon if you link to other blogs a lot anyway, then the really good blogs will get regular exposure on your front page anyway, blogroll or not. Plus, a long blogroll looks a bit silly. Does anybody ever actually click on them?

Nosemonkey said...

My reasoning was twofold:

1) I couldn't find a three column Wordpress template with tweaking potential that I liked (and lack the technical knowhow to build one from scratch - at the moment) - and having the blogroll in a two-column setup made the sidebar unwieldy.

2) I couldn't work out a simple way to have a drop-down menu type thing in Wordpress, as I had on the old blog, which tidies the blogroll/sidebar up happily.

The dropdown solution shouldn't (I assume) be a problem for you with Blogger, as it worked with the old Blogger system. It may well bugger Google rankings to have lots of links, but I doubt it would do so massively (I had a fairly impressive Google ranking at the old place, despite the vast numbers of links). The "don't link too much" advice for Google rankings seems to be the case more for regular websites rather than blogs, as the Google rank benefits of a regularly updated, relatively frequently linked-to blog tend to outweigh the downsides of the multiple static links on the home page.

The downside of having the blogroll on separate pages is that it doesn't seem to show up on Technorati and the like, so that people you link to may not notice, and that if - like me - you still take the old-fashioned approach (by which I mean the 2003 approach) of clicking on links to read blogs, you'll forget to check loads of them. Especially those - of which there are still a surprisingly large number - that don't have RSS feeds that you can store in a handy reader (something I've still not got quite used to).

Then again, editing a single post page in Blogger is far, far easier than editing the entire tempate, so makes managing your blogroll far easier (I assume it's still the case with the new version that sidebar links all have to be done through the main template?), so may well make managing the thing more simple.

In other words, yes but no but yes but...

MatGB said...

Worth noting that a large number of links doesn't hurt your Google presence at all, what it does do is devalue the bonus you give to the sites you link to, as the bonus is roughly your PR/# outgoing links.

When I transferred to V-tX for the political stuff I tried to cut down to less than 100 blogrolled, and failed miserably, I'm going to chop again, you either want a very small number (a la Tim) or you want about 80ish (for reciprocation of good sites).

I'm thinking of using a random display function in WP, so no site gets displayed every time, and have 5-10 per category. Not decided yet.

NM; I'm working on a 3-column layout that will be tweakable so I think you'd like it, I'll boost you over a copy when it's done, sample at my personal (not started yet) site here. I looked at yours a lot when making mine as it happens, I like some of the things you've done, especially the static front page.

CuriousHamster said...

Thanks chaps. Lot's to think about there. I'll force myself to stop procrastinating and make a decision tomorrow. Possibly.

D, I do occasionally click through blogrolls when in the mood. I suspect I might be in a minority. By the way, I've just remembered that I forgot to add your post on competition and TV to this weeks SBR. I had it on my list. Blast.

NM, I've converted to Sage for feed reading. It works as an optional sidebar in Firefox and I'd recommend it. The only problem is that it ends up full of far more feeds than you've ever got time to read. Just embrace that unavoidable truth and it's the handiest download you'll ever install.

Mat, on the links thing, although I didn't say it, that what I meant. If, for example, I wanted to make sure that a certain article about Con Coughlin stayed high in the rankings for his name, I think it's better to have less links on the front page. It's a minor point really, I suppose.

Davide Simonetti said...

I'm a bit late with this but there are 3 column templates available for Blogger Beta. I've just upgraded my template finally. If you still like the Minima template, you can get a three column Beta version of it from here.
I've got a collection of links now for other Beta template sites and also for tips, widgets and other goodies. Drop me an e-mail if you're interested.