Post vs Page SEO

How Yoga helped me refresh my blog SEO knowledge

I tried yoga in LPAC Chicago several years ago, and honestly, even though I went for a year, I wasn’t impressed. Recently I tried Bihar Yoga classes in Belgrade (Joga Beograd), and I must say that they are just incomparably better. Teacher Milan has M.D. and has also lived and studied yoga (and acupuncture) in India. Unlike most contemporary yoga instructors who superficially learn in a year or two how to teach, Milan has a deeper understanding of why and how each asana should be done, their sequences, pauses, etc. I liked these classes so much that I offered to help out with the site they didn’t have.

Even though unfinished, we decided to publish the site, just to start appearing on search engines. Site has been online for few days now, but there are two problems:

  1. It is appearing very low on Google search results
  2. It is not appearing at all on blog search results

First problem I kind of expected given the site is brand new. However, what surprises me is that it ranks low even for the domain name phrase query. In the past I noticed such thing happen only for quite competitive phrases. “Joga Beograd” without a detailed analysis didn’t seem to be such a competitive phrase.

Second problem however is much more interesting.

What impressed me in the past about Google blog search is the fact that it was indexing blog posts almost in real time (due to blog ping service). This is one of the reasons why I suggested WordPress as a platform for the site, and not some CMS – I expected site to be ranked relatively well very fast. However, not only did it not get indexed fast (I had to submit it to webmaster tools after 2 days), but it did not appear in blog search at all!

I can think of two possible reasons for above problem.

  1. Site content has been written over the period of few months. Instead of being saved as draft, and published only after the site itself is made public, content had been published while the search engines have been blocked from visiting. This could have resulted in ping service being useless as robots were blocked, or ping service not working on past published dates when site itself is made public, or search engine seeing the content as old, and not giving it urgency for indexing. I tried to fix this by editing publishing dates to near future (few hours into the future) but this didn’t seem to help – either the ping service did not ping again (didn’t analyze the WordPress source code to see how it works), or some other problem might have occurred (robots see same content for different date, and ignore it).
  2. Another possible problem is that all articles are published as pages, not posts. And in fact pages, unlike posts, are not being considered as updates to your blog. Although this shows that hypothesis 1 above is not good, its reasoning was indeed valid in the past for posts when ping service had problems (which have been solved since), and the point about blocking search engines while publishing is still valid.

In other words, when you have a blog, if you want your article to appear in blog search, you MUST publish it as a post, not page. In addition, if you want your article to get indexed fast (thanks to ping service) you have to publish it as a post, not page (this assumes you have new or less popular blog which has to rely on ping service, and not references from other sites). This in fact makes perfect sense, if you think about it, as what defines a blog are blog posts — blog pages simulate the regular site content.

As a final word, although I was aware of a goal to place pages easily in the top navigation menu (which takes a bit more work with posts), I should have thought about the above consequences.

I have published this post because after a quick search for ‘pages vs posts seo’, I haven’t found this info in results. In fact, one needs to be aware of the ping issue and how it works, and only then the search for ‘pages vs posts seo ping’ will provide result with a very good explanation:  http://www.famousbloggers.net/posts-vs-pages.html

 

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