Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Related Posts Showdown: LinkWithin VS Outbrain VS nRelate

If you've been blogging or reading blogs for any amount of time, then you've probably noticed, or might even already have installed a related posts widget. They are a great idea and an effective method for increasing page views and reducing bounce rates by encouraging visitors to stay on your blog longer by showing them a list of other enticing posts that "They Might Like".

In my opinion, the choice of whether or not to install one of these widgets on your blog is a no-brainer. There are no drawbacks, unless you maybe have a small and infrequently updated blog with a limited amount of posts such as this one. In that case, you might want to hold off on it until you've built up a decent amount of posts or articles. However, if you have an established blog with a healthy number of posts, then you are missing out if you don't have a related post widget.

The only real question, and one not so easily answered is, of the many available solutions out there, which one do I use? 

LinkWithin? YARPP? Outbrain? IGIT? nRelate? SimpleReach?

As you can see, there are several competing widgets designed to display related posts on your blog, and at first glance all the most popular ones do look similar and seem to be worthy choices. However, as I will point out below, there are some important differences to be aware of when making your selection.

I've been blogging for about 18 months now, and for most of that time I've been using a related posts plugin on my main blog, Bonjour Tristesse. Over that time, I've thoroughly examined a few of these offerings, namely LinkWithin, Outbrain and nRelate. The most of the others are designed exclusively for Wordpress blogs, so I couldn't consider them for my Blogger blog. In this post I will share my overall experiences with those three to help you choose the right one for you.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Google Delayed Indexing of Blogger Custom Domains

I've noticed over the last week and a half, that my posts on my main Blogger blog (which has a custom domain) are not being indexed by Google until several days later. When before, they used to show up within minutes.

What's odd is my homepage is getting crawled as soon as I make a post, only the new posts aren't appearing in the results until about 3 days later.

I'm not the only one that has noticed this either, there is a growing discussion thread in the Google Webmasters Forum regarding this issue.

I'm mainly posting this as a test to see how fast this post gets indexed, but I wonder if you guys are seeing the same behavior?

Update: February 26, 2012 - Well, it seems everything is back to normal and has been for a few days now.  Hopefully it remains this way.