Multiple Page Articles; Oy!

This is a minor rant, one I touched up a couple of months ago when I did a video rant; I’m including that below in case you want to see more things I griped about. lol

Idiot Box
Arti Sandhu via Compfight

About 2 years ago I wrote a long article on blogging. It was mainly for folks who were either new to blogging or had started blogging but found they were having some difficulties with it. My purpose was to write something known as a “pillar post”, where the intention is to highlight your expertise in something by putting a lot of information into one particular post. Search engines supposedly love pillar posts; I wouldn’t really know, but I was up for the challenge.

However, my post ended up being almost 5,900 words, and I thought that would be a bit much. Thus, I broke it into a 2-part series, starting with Better Blogging Part One and Better Blogging Part Deux. It seemed like a much smarter thing to do, breaking such a large post into two parts; I stand by that decision for the sake of the readers.

You know what we’re getting a lot of these days? These websites that will have something like The 20 Top Baseball Players Of All Time or 8 Actors Who Say They’ve Seen Ghosts or a host of posts like this. Sometimes it’s even stuff that’s good for you or knowledge you need, such as foods you shouldn’t eat or learning more about a pharmaceutical you might have to take.

And what to you get? You get the privilege of going through multiple pages to see them all; I mean, not even one page where you can see a list of all of them with any extra detail.

Now, if you’re going to give me 20 baseball players and you’re going to do a nice write up on each one, I could excuse you having 21 pages (the first page is the set up page). But having 21 pages with only the first page having any significant content… now I’m irked. I don’t know about everyone else but I don’t have the time to go through 21 pages for one article all the time. That mess got old really quick for me; I’m a curious kind of guy but my curiosity stops when someone is putting messy stuff in my way.

There are two reasons these sites do stuff like this.

One, because they know Google loves tons of pages, and even with the Panda and Penguin updates, and any other animals that might crop up here and there, these sites seem to be able to weather the ratings hit quite well.

Two, because of advertising. The sites rank high, which brings in lots of advertisers, and thus they can pack each page with a bunch of advertisers links and banner ads, knowing that an overwhelming majority of people are going to keep hitting those links to get to the next page.

A site that does a little something like this that I actually kind of like is called Cracked, which has very long and often quite detailed articles that they’ll break into 2 or 3 pages. In that instance you’re getting so much content that it makes a lot of sense breaking it up, and it’s quite entertaining stuff.

Some of you might be saying “hey, I never see any of those pages”… really? If you’d like to see an example go to CNN.com, click on any news story there, go to the end of the story you clicked on and look at the links to either more news stories or other goofy stuff. Ugh!

Now, it’s bad enough that websites are doing this, but now I’m seeing some blogs doing it. Most of them are blogs with lots of images, and what they’re doing is putting up a lot of pictures but making each picture a blog in and of itself, even if it’s a series concerning the same thing. These folks might write a paragraph about the picture if you’re lucky, but come on now… Sure, it’s building up your pages but it’s ridiculous to visitors and I’m doubting that all of these images are getting comments. The few I’ve seen have had very few comments; what’s the point right?

Maybe I’m being sensitive, so I thought I’d put it out as today’s question. Have you seen this phenomenon on websites and/or blogs, and if so what do you think about it? Does it irritate you or do you think it’s creative? Take your time in thinking about it while watching my rant video below lol:
 


 

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17 comments on “Multiple Page Articles; Oy!

  • When I wrote my series of stories of various people who had crossed my path, there were some stories that simply were too long to be published as one post. The decision whether one was too long or not was taken entirely by me and none of my readers objected to my splitting the posts up into two as long as the sequel followed the first post without too much delay.
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  • I very much dislike to write series of articles. Have done it few times, few times have forget to add part 2 or 3. On blogs I think it is ok, but many websites are doing this deliberately, for example for top movies, actors its, it terms of slideshow alike, which is done mainly to get higher income from AdSense or CPM. As soon as I see that kind of website structure, leave the page and Google my question again,

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    • Carl, sometimes having a series of articles just makes sense. You don’t see my business website all that often but last year I had a series of 6 articles on there that were related to a live presentation I gave. Since I’d given the presentation in segments it made sense to present it on the blog in those same segments. Still, overall for me the process of writing is to just write, and then see what to make of it later on. Having multiple pages with almost nothing on them… irksome.

      Reply
  • Writing a multiple page articles is necessary when a serious is too long to publish as a post so as not to bore your readers as it is known that people do not like to read very long posts. So splitting the article into pages will ensure you don’t keep your audience waiting for the rest of the story. It is a good practice in such cases.

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    • Actually Nwosu, that’s not entirely accurate. It always depends on the what and the who as to whether people will read long articles. Some of the highest ranked blogs only write one long post a week, usually between 5,000 and 10,000 words, and people get entranced with those works and keep coming back for more. Most of the times those are tutorial posts. Hit the right market or get people enthused and they’ll read long articles; a few of my longest blog posts have had more readers than others.

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  • While I do appreciate people for breaking articles up (especially, if they are extremely lengthy – helps to prevent the overwhelm and procrastination that may come with it; I tend to save the longer pages in my tab manager and it may take several days before I see the page again), I don’t like when people do it unnecessarily.

    It’s wasting time and in some cases, causes increase in internet charge (of course, it doesn’t matter to those of us who are living the developed world, since we have access to the best – relatively – internet speeds, but what about the rest of the world?).

    So, it’s best not to break them up, especially if the article is short :D’

    Hopefully someone from those sites will see this post and decide to take action (unlikely since they are more concerned about search engines…if they really cared, would they have done this in the first place?).

    Reply
    • Jeevan, they really don’t care about the visitors except to get them in so they can get those advertisers at premium dollars. Thing is, I don’t really mind the advertising as much because I think everyone deserves the right to make a buck. But wasting my time like that… irksome to say the least. And when bloggers do it… they just don’t get it.

      Reply
  • I think I know what you’re complaining about, Mitch. I’ve come across those same kinds of articles or posts, and they’re broken up into tiny pieces, not for the sake of the reader, but for the benefit of the author. I have to be extremely interested in the subject to not get annoyed.

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  • That is a trick to make a topic emphasized well and to make one topic not boring. It matters that your piece of content will not bore the reader with its fully loaded content and explinations.

    Using part one, part two scheme is a must use to keep your avid readers/followers read your daily share and make sure to put the links to prove them that you have shared the first part yesterday or what.

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  • Hey Mitch,

    I hate it when sites do that!

    In my view, it does work when it’s an image slideshow that doesn’t reload the entire page on each click. If you click Next and the whole page reloads, and you’re also scrolled back to the top of the site, that’s incredibly annoying.

    But as long as the Next button loads the image within the current page and doesn’t load a totally new page, I’d rather have image slideshows in a Previous/Next setup, particularly if the images are big. Displaying them all the way down the page, like Buzzfeed does, means I just have to scroll down endlessly. I guess it’s about which of the two is less annoying 🙂

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    • Hey Ben! I find it less annoying having everything on one page, especially right now being out of town. The hotel has a slow internet connection and it takes a lot more time going from page to page than scrolling, and the images load faster on one page.

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