Oracle’s Advice – Slugs, Tales, and Internet Rails

Posted on April 11, 2013 by

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What is a slug you may ask and why is the Oracle taking the time to write about it?

Creating a great slug is probably your single easiest way as a blogger to gain traffic from Google. Slugs are the part of your permalink code that you can edit. In WordPress, it’s the button right below the large title box above, and letting it auto-set your blog post’s URL is probably one of the biggest mistakes you are making.

The problem with slugs and the auto- creator function is that it creates slugs that are too long, have too many stop words in them, and as a result your post gets lost in the bin that Google’s spider-bots dump things made by people that they decide they cannot trust.

Sounds grim? It’s not. Chances are you’re existing within the WordPress platform, and get the majority of your traffic from other WordPress blogs in your reader.

BUT

If you want organic traffic – or people sent to you by Google because it’s convinced you have the info that the Googler wants, you really need to do these simple things to improve your chances.

First, never publish a blog or article without editing the slug.

Second, if you forget to edit your slug before you publish, then NEVER edit it after the first publication.

Third? your edited slug should have about four words in it. These words should be the words that a person would type into Google to find your article if they wanted to read it. be intuitive. Your slug (the part of the URL code that you control) should be three or four words, and NEVER have what Google calls stop words in it. Stop words are low value words that do nothing to aid in a search. (think of “and” “or” “of”) These words ought to summarize your post as completely as possible. You ought to have as many of the three or four slug words in your title as possible, and you ought to use all of them once in the first paragraph, if not sentence. Separate each word with a dash, so that it doesn’t mash them together into letters that the Google algorithms can’t read.

So… if your site is called buffy’s blog and you are writing about killing vampires, your entire URL with your controllable slug ought to look like this….

HTTP//buffysblog/2013/4/11/kill-vampire-stake-cross/

The part in red is the part you control. Google awards sites with “neat data” with traffic.

Never use a term that is vague. For example, If your title for this article is “buffy floored me last night” because Google seeks out root words and wide range meaning, it’s more likely that you will get people trying to find out how to wax their floors than are interested in vampires.

You have to think like a machine or the machine world will pay you little attention.

Why am I telling you all of this? I wouldn’t be much of an Oracle if I couldn’t speak the language of the machine world, would I?

If you have any questions leave them in the comments below, and I will be glad to answer, if I have an answer.

Posted in: The Oracle