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How should I do a Dictionary or Glossary?

     
9:36 pm on Aug 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Im doing a dictionary for terms related to my site. How should I do it? All letters starting with A on one page, B on another, etc... Or... should I have each term on its own page for SEO purposes?

It'll be a decent size dictionary.

Thanks for the advice!

10:08 pm on Aug 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Make sure you dont use any scripting language to generate your pages. Keep everything static and in a clean folder directory. Make sure your spiders dont get lost in your glossary and understand that you need to be consistant with the title tags, h1 tags and content formating in each description of your glossary terms. Have each term open up in a new page ONLY if there is going to be a suffecient amount of information that will be read by the spiders and important information. If you are not going to have enough text I.E min 250 words for each description then i would suggest keeping all the terms on one site and just use <a> name references to each area of your term. The more content heavy a page is the more relevant it becomes to the engines. Take the glossary terms on your pages and direct important keyword content to certain relevant pages in your site. This will allow for a consistant flow of relevant information to be read properly by a spider and will increase the awareness of your site in general. The more direct and flawless a site can be with navigation the better it will become. take care
10:58 pm on Aug 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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totally disagree with above :)

IMO there is nothing wrong with using a scripting language, there is some confusion there i think.

i have several glossaries/dictionaries all drawn from databases - the pages created on the fly using either php or asp, often the description is a LOT less than 250 words (sometimes more) - each description has its own page... the search engines love them.

BTW a long term member here runs a site called

glossarist.com

which is a directory of glossaries, check some of them out and see how others are doing glossaries.

-- :) welcome to WebmasterWorld drunkseo

11:25 pm on Aug 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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mostly disagree with what's below what's above >)

This would be very disingenious to your users to set up a glossary where each term is one page...forcing them to click from page to page to page to page to see each and every term in your glossary...

Set it up so that each letter in the alphabet is covered on one page...set up your <title>..etc...on each page so that it covers your most important keyword/s/keyword phrase/s for that letter...

in the body text on each page set several key outbound links to high value content targets...and from your most important keywords (make sure to use the target equals blank or new attribute in the hrefs so that folks don't actually leave your site if they click on these embedded links...)

go to the site suggested above and check out the radiology info site...this is the corect way to set up a glossary...

5:00 am on Aug 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>> mostly disagree with what's below what's above >wink

fantastic sentence, love the way it rolls! it's too early to think how to extend it to the third place ...

it makes sense that a user would not want to jump from page to page to browse a glossary of terms - so i'd agree. although my stats show that people already on my site very rarely use the glossary, sadly, despite the hard work it entailed. Nearly all users of the glossary are first page views direct from serps - who either depart as one hit wonders or who then explore the site further.

4:15 pm on Aug 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'll take the middle ground and suggest that one page per item will work for longer, more encyclopedic entries, while alphabetic grouping would be better for one-liners.

One thing I'd avoid is the super-long page with hundreds of entries you sometimes find in glossaries. This isn't good for either users or search engines.

6:09 pm on Aug 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well I do not plan on having an encyclopedia, definitions will just be a couple sentences. The glossary would have alot of terms though 1000+. Should I break them down into categories? (for SEO purposes) Such as: terms related to blue widgets, terms related to red widgets, etc. That way I have a bunch of related keywords on one page.

Thoughts?

7:27 pm on Aug 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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it makes sense that a user would not want to jump from page to page to browse a glossary of terms -

True -- I don't think people browse glossaries much: they're more likely to search them looking for a particular term. A listing of the letters of the alphabet linking to the page(s) of words that start with those letters is one idea I've seen used on sites that have bigger glossaries than mine does, and I've found them useful for searching.

My glossary's small enough that it doesn't need a lot of pages, but people often reach it from a content page on my site. When there's a term in the text that some readers might need defined, the word itself is an active link to its glossary entry. Some sites use pop-ups or tool tips for the same purpose, but I try to avoid anything resembling a pop-up. I don't know enough about SEO to know if search engines like the system, but it seems useful for human visitors.

2:39 am on Aug 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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bump

"The glossary would have alot of terms though 1000+. Should I break them down into categories? (for SEO purposes) Such as: terms related to blue widgets, terms related to red widgets, etc. That way I have a bunch of related keywords on one page."

8:31 pm on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Matrixter - asuming your dictionary content doesn't change too often:

1. Use a database at the back end holding all the entries
2. write a script ASP/PHP whatever that pulls entries and builds pages which you then serve as static HTML. - You get the best of both worlds, static content and dynamic generation.

It's the kind of thing a decent web programmer can bang off for you in a weekend.

8:34 pm on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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1:55 am on Sept 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The consensus here seems to be to have a separate page for each letter of the alphabet - that does seem logical for ease of use. But, how does such a system fare for Google's "define" feature? In other words, would Google have a hard time finding all the indivual pages?

My glossary is all on one page and currently about 34K (with about 180 terms). Does that mean that I should consider keeping it on one page for a while as it is well under Google's 101K indexing?

Woz

10:46 pm on Sept 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Ahhh, Glossaries, a topic unto mine own heart. ;)

I noted some points in this thread, Compiling a Glossary [webmasterworld.com], some time ago which might answer some of these questions.

And make sure you understand the difference between a Dictionary and a Glossary. Quoting from another old thread:-

BTW, a little OT, but is it Dictionary or glossary? Another question I cogitate.

selected definitions from Dictionary.com

Dictionary
. A book listing the words of a language with translations into another language.
. A book listing words or other linguistic items in a particular category or subject with specialized information about them: a medical dictionary.

glossary
. an alphabetical list of technical terms in some specialized field of knowledge; usually published as an appendix to a text on that field

I have always thought of a Dictionary being about a particular language, and a glossary being about a particular Subject. The other factor being that a Dictionary is usually stand alone, whereas a glossary is an adjunct to a larger work.

Onya
Woz

12:24 am on Sept 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thank you, the thread referenced does help. Still, I would like some opinions on whether breaking my current one-page glossary into separate pages for each letter of the alphabet would lessen my chances on being indexed in Google's "define" function.
7:21 am on Sept 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>> lessen my chances on being indexed in Google's "define" function.

Probably not :)

We've had a glossary up for over 2 years that is considered one of the most comprehensive for it's niche. It's available in 4 languages, listed in DMOZ and multiple listings in Yahoo's directory. It's linked to from universities and other authorative sites such as the USFDA.

We've not been able to have it indexed in Google's glossaries and show up in the "define" search results.

The title, description and H tag all have the word "glossary" and the anchor text includes the word glossary.

Google has instead indexed a lesser glossary which contains less than 2 dozen terms and definitions.

1:23 pm on Sept 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Coconutz,

Is your glossary a separate page for each letter of the alphabet?

5:06 pm on Sept 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Currently it's one page for each language. We're planning on separate pages for each letter.