The curse of permalink

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The curse of permalink

What is a permalink?

It’s a blogging term meaning that the URI linked to the text will provide a permanant link to a particular journal entry.

Why do they suck?

Because when search engines like Blogdex or Google index the pages of blogs they scan the content for links, picking up lots of links consisting of the word “permalink”, amongst others. Now, if the permalink contains the title of the post, or even date of the entry, e.g. “journal entry on 25th November 2003”, it would make a lot more sense. It shows that the link is related to the text of the link, which is more logically correct than an unrelated made–up word.

Permalink has become prolific throughout the web, due mostly to blogs running on off the shelf publishing systems which the non–technically gifted end user will be ill at east to tamper with, save to alter a few background colours and change some images.

This means that the hundreds of thousands of blogs out there are failing to have noteworthy posts indexed in a proper and correct way. Search for the word Permalink and you’ll get a whole load of pages containing url’s with the word permalink. The results page probably wont contain any information about the word, it’ll be random fragments of popular blog pages most recently indexed.

However, even worse than permalink is the hip designer group of colons, you know, like ::: that even Jeffrey “should know better” Zeldman sports on his site. It’s all very well preaching semantic mark-up and standards compliance, but when you commit the permalink crime in an even stupider way, it’s kind of hard to keep that healthy sheen of perfection from being tarnished.

If you have a journal of your own and it permalinks with that word (or something equally as meaningless), go and have a look at changing the resultant link into something more meaningful, for the sake of the search engines as well as yourself.