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Guidelines for Magazine Website Publishers
Please note that we currently are NOT adding new publications
to our index. You can submit your publication if you want, and
we'll keep track of it in case we resume addition of new publications
in the future.
Following the guidelines below will make your magazine site
more useful to your readers and easier for MagPortal.com
and other search engines to index.
- Don't rename your web pages. When you change the
names of your HTML files (i.e. URLs) you break the readers' bookmarks
and you break the links to your site from search engines.
- Put dates on your articles.
This helps readers determine
if the article is still relevant, and it convinces them that you
update your site regularly.
Readers may come to the article directly through a search
engine, so putting dates on the table of contents is not sufficient.
MagPortal.com can cite your article more precisely
if you provide dates (please use 4-digit years).
- Be careful with frames. Frames allow you to keep
one part of the display fixed while another part can be
varied (by loading different text or scrolling independently).
However, bad use of frames can make it hard for a reader to
bookmark an article (the bookmark sends the reader to
a page which is different from what they were reading when they
created the bookmark). When moving from article to article
on your side, does the URL listed in the "Address" or "Location" box
on your browser stay the same? If so, you are using frames
badly. Consider changing this or providing a "no frames" version
of your articles. MagPortal.com does not index sites where
it cannot get a unique URL for each article (using a different
frameset for each article is okay).
- Make links work when "current" issue changes. Be careful
about how you set up the table of contents for your current issue.
The article links should not change when that issue is no
longer current or you will break the readers' bookmarks
to the articles (i.e. "/current/myarticle.html" should not
suddenly change to "/19991201/myarticle.html" when the
January issue comes out). For example:
Bad: Articles in /19991201 with hyperlinks
like ./myarticle.html and soft link /current to /19991201.
Good: Articles in /19991201 with hyperlinks
like ../19991201/myarticle.html and soft link /current to /19991201.
- Provide a single complete page. Some people advocate
slicing articles into small pieces with lots of links so
that readers can jump easily to only the parts they want. While
this may be good for general browsing, there are some drawbacks:
If you want to cut the article into many pieces, consider
also posting a "single page" version.
- User must hunt for the "next page" link and wait for
the selected page to download, causing an interruption
in their reading (pushing the "page down" key while
reading a single long page is easier).
- It is hard for the user to print the article.
- It can be hard for MagPortal.com to find all of the
pieces if the "next page" links are not of a simple,
consistent format. This can cause our search engine
to miss parts of your article.
- Use descriptive article titles. Readers can browse
your table of contents more efficiently if you use article
titles that are simple and clear rather than cute. This will
also improve the usefulness of your citation on MagPortal.com.
- Don't replace body text with images. MagPortal.com and
other search engines often can't detect when you have replaced the first
letter or word of a paragraph with a graphic representation
of that letter/word. Also, you may cause problems for software
that generates audible speech from your pages (e.g. used by the blind).
- Don't merge disparate information. For example, if you have
a set of product reviews, put each review in its own file and
give it a separate link in your table of contents. If you
merge them into a single "Reviews" page you make it harder
for the readers to find what they are looking for, and many search
engines will give that page a poor ranking because only
a small percentage of the page is devoted to what the
person is looking for.
- Tell us if you change your site! If you change the
way you name your HTML files, or the way you structure
your documents, please let us know. Keep in mind that
renaming your HTML files will break your readers' bookmarks.
- We don't index abstracts or partial articles.
MagPortal.com only indexes full articles, and we appreciate
it if you clearly distinguish full articles from abstracts by
putting the word "abstract" in the appropriate URLs.
- We don't index newspapers.
- We currently only index articles that are in English.
- We currently cannot index PDF files.
- Keep usability in mind. We recommend the book
Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity by Jakob Nielsen
(disclaimer: we get a commission if you purchase through this link).
- Use consistent formatting. Keeping the author, publication
date, etc. in the same place and format on all articles makes it much
easier for us to avoid errors in the article citations. Including
a proper <TITLE> and
meta description tag
as shown below can also improve your ranking and the way your page is cited in
various search engines.
If you really want us to love you, use a clearly delineated format like this:
<META NAME="description" CONTENT="article (not magazine) description">
<META NAME="author" CONTENT="article's author">
<META NAME="issue_date" CONTENT="publication date with 4-digit year">
Advertisements, navigation buttons, etc.
<!-- article body begin -->
Actual text of the article. No author biographies, links
to other articles, advertisements, etc. here - don't pollute
the search engine.
<!-- article body end -->
Copyright notices, author biographies, navigation links, etc.
- Keep old "table of contents" pages online and easily accessible.
users may hunt for old articles by using your site's search engine,
others may just want to browse articles, so you shouldn't make
your search engine the only way to access old articles. Also,
spiders from external Internet search engines will not be able to find
pages that are only accessible through your site's search engine.
- Provide a robots.txt. The robots.txt file specifies which
parts of your site search engine spiders are allowed to visit.
For details on the file format see
Standard for Robot Exclusion.
If you want to leave everything open to the spiders you should
create an empty robots.txt file. While omitting the file completely
is, in theory, equivalent to providing an empty file, this does
not work well on some servers. In particular, if you specify
a default page in Microsoft IIS that should be returned when a
requested page does not exist, apparently it will
redirect the spider to the default page without indicating
that there was ever any problem (i.e. the spider gets a "HTTP/1.1 200 OK").
This can be very confusing to the spider, which ends up with
a page that is not in the expected robots.txt format.