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F.a.q. Or Article Strategy


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6 replies to this topic

#1 bobmeetin

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 09:34 PM

By hook and by crook I'm starting to derive life out of one of my clients in terms of sending me content to post on his website. I've been banging on the door for over a year suggesting that his website needs regular fresh content posted to it. Well now the ball is in my court to do something smart with it.

I set him up with an FAQ page a year back. It is really sparsely populated. The first content piece he submitted can be construed as an FAQ but its' really more - a short article with some advice (not as a blog, though).

So strategy time... Who is in favor of planting it all in a single FAQ page as opposed to adding it as an individual page with its own title, description etc. To make it accessible I could possibly make up an articles or advice (whatever) menu item with a list of articles linking to it.

Another way of doing this would be to set up an accordion type (expanding as necessary) page where you click on an article and the section expands. Of course this would not net individual page value in title/description, etc.

Over???

Edited by bobmeetin, 02 June 2009 - 09:52 PM.


#2 mal4mac

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 03:52 AM

If you want the individual entries in the FAQ to be found then definitely have separate pages. Look for examples of large texts on the web that appear both as large single files and lots of different pages (encyclopaedias, dictionaries that kind of thing) and see how the multi-page ones do much better.

#3 bobmeetin

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 11:17 AM

Perhaps the question should be, "Which is best for SEO for the website?"

Option A:
With option A individual article pages we can work the titles and descriptions - more pages but each page becomes static. This would equate to the Wikipedia multi-page scenario (if I understand the drift).

Option B:
There is less versatility with page title, description, but the page will be appended to regularly (we hope).
If you do the math, over time the percentage of the page changed will diminish if all FAQs are created equally.
start with 1 FAQ
add 1 new FAQ - 50% change
add 2nd new FAQ - 33% change
...
add 10th FAQ - 10% change

At what point does the law of diminishing returns notify the search engines that the changes are too insignificant to care? This kind of looks like a blog roll.

Option C:
Burn the candle on both ends. Do A but also do B - pretty easy to make happen. Will this lead into a duplicate content scenario within a website and possibly have negative impact?


#4 bobmeetin

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 09:01 AM

Any experience or feedback on Option C is appreciated, especially whether there will be any negative impact because the article/message would be both bundled in a single large FAQ page and also as a page of its own.

The website in question in this example is built in Joomla. What I've done to get it going is to use the Joomla Latest Articles function which grabs a bunch of articles in a specified category and lists them by title in a module on the home (really any) page.

To do "C" all I have to do is write a simple PHP script to grab the titles and content of messages in this articles or FAQ category and send it to a page of my choice, the super page.

Is there any foreseen duplicate content damage?

#5 Randy

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 12:24 PM

As a general rule duplicate content doesn't normally damage a web site. Normal duplication only gets filtered, so only one of the two (or more) docs would show up for the targeted search phrases. It takes a lot of duplication to actually cause harm. And then you're typically talking about duplication across multiple domains, not within a single site.

So that one shouldn't be a concern with what you're proposing to do.

As for the rest, I think the question becomes one of Which approach is best for users. The search engines are pretty good at sorting out this kind of stuff these days, so that side of the equation isn't going to be a major concern. As long as they can get to each of the pages they're going to index them have them show up for their search terms.

#6 copywriter

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 03:38 PM

QUOTE
I think the question becomes one of Which approach is best for users.


wink1.gif Yep! That's the question to ask.

I, personally, think the info would be much more accessible in FAQ form.

This article may give you an idea or two also.



#7 bobmeetin

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 09:17 AM

The long and short of it is that after listening to the suggestions, pros and cons, I decided to go with both. At heart I'm a developer, so without any serious duplicate content issues, this works for me. In this case the website is running Joomla 1.5.10. What I did is:

1) In Joomla's Article Manager I set up the big F.A.Q. page with only a heading as content. It is accessible via the main menu
2) For each separate article I/we also use the Article Manager to write up the article and set up page title, meta description, etc. There is no need to link the article through the menu manager. We will bunch all articles into the same Category, something like Articles or FAQS
3) In Joomla's Module Manager I enabled the Latest News module (mod_latestnews) and pointed it to the Category defined in #2. It was set to display on specific pages such as Home under the main content area.
4) I wrote a reasonably simple PHP script that takes all the articles and titles and writes them to the database field in jos_content linked to the F.A.Q. page in #1 above. Of course I added a little CSS formatting to give them a Q/A approach.
5) I set the script in #4 to run every time we access a certain page or routinely via a cron job.

If everything was this easy......





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