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The only reason to publish multipage content


You’ve probably guessed the reason already but I’ll spell it out anyway: Money. More page views result in increased ad revenue. The multipage scam is a web publishing (de facto) standard that needs to go.

It’s fucking everywhere. Multipage content has become extremely popular, especially with greedy publishers.

Fool me thrice

The most common excuses for publishing multipage blog posts or news articles are these three:

  • Accuracy*
    They claim that it’s more accurate to dedicate one page to one issue of the article.
  • Usability
    They claim that it’s easier to navigate a multipage article.
  • Readability
    They claim that it’s easier to read a long article “bite by bite”.

* This is actually a valid reason excuse in the case of hotlinking a specific part of an article. It might even help with SEO…

Shame on me

I say: It’s all bullshit. I want to read the whole article without further distractions. Online we don’t turn pages like in a book. It just doesn’t work that way. Online we read from top to bottom. And with superfluous sidebars being plastered over almost every blog today it’s already hard enough to find the actual content.

The reason I (and you) have to deal with this shit is simply money. More clicks, more views, more money. Theoretically.

I seldom continue reading multipage articles or blog posts once I realize I have to put together the parts myself. I rarely care enough about the content to play these games. In an ideal world the search results page I came from should always be only one click away.

(Some publishers admit that they split their content into multiple parts to increase their ad revenue. A reluctant “Yay!” for transparency.)

Alternatives for publishers

If you, as a web publisher, truly care about your readers you should consider to use one of the following alternatives to improve the accuracy, usability and readability of your content.

  • Editing
    Does your content really warrant multiple pages? Is it really that obtuse? Maybe cutting out expletives and other unneccessary stuff will help?
  • Proper HTML markup
    Read up on standard HTML markup. We’re in the semantic era. Using the HTML hierarchy to create content is the key to an accessible website.
  • Typography
    Do you prefer fancy fonts or those that are readable on a computer screen? What about mobile devices?
  • Colors
    Play around with colors to improve the legibility of the content. If you’re serious about this stuff you should adhere to the W3 standards concerning accessibility.
  • jQuery Tabs, etc.
    If your content exceeds 1.500 words it might be a good idea to use jQuery tabs or an accordion to make the site look less overwhelming.

And since you’re missing out on those precious ad bucks by serving content like a professional you’ll want to choose your advertising partners more carefully. Honestly, how much money do you make with AdSense or similiar products? Is it worth annoying your readers?