Most recent posts links are in almost every blog theme, but they are not the most efficient way of channeling visitors and page rank around the site. Read why I think you should replace it with different page navigation.

Most blogs that I visit proudly display a list of most recent posts. But is there any point in this? Could it even be an unecessary distraction that loses traffic for you? Lets look at it from the point of view of humans and search engines.

Humans visitor

To start with, brand new visitors to your website need to be sold on your website. Your most recent posts might be your best ever work, but more likely they are just average. Instead you want to alert them to your best writing, which is probably your most read writing. So a list of your most popular posts could just attract the attention of a few new readers and persuade them to read on.

The problem is there is limited space on a screen and if you have a recent posts and a most popular posts set of links, you are giving your visitors too much information. You need to steer them towards those posts that attract attention and hope this will get them to subscribe to your writings.

But what about existing readers? These do need to be told of your latest posts. But these will probably be following your RSS feeds or subscribing to your newsletter. Both of these will be alerting them to the new writings. Also, existing readers coming directly to your website are most likely to land on your homepage rather than a post. If your homepage has the links to your newest work, then that satisfies their needs.

So for human visitors, whether they are new to you and have arrived on a post or existing readers arriving from your RSS read, then steering them to your most popular work is the best way of ensuring more page views.

Search Engines

But surely for search engines it is far better to link to new posts from every page of your website? That way as soon as a search engine visits any page of your website then they are alerted to the presence of new posts? This ensures rapid caching of the pages? Right?


For a start, if you are using any descent sort of blogging platform new posts will ping the search engines. This is where you tell the search engines that the new post exists. Secondly, there are far better ways of doing this function without distracting from guiding your visitors around the site.

To make sure that search engines do pick up all new posts it is better to install a sitemap plugin. These will tell search engines which pages are new and updated in the format that they prefer to work with. You can also use services such as Twitter to announce the arrival of new pages.

Also, by removing the list of new posts from every page, you are helping to channel the page rank around the site. Instead of it always pointing temprarily to new posts you are pointing it to the most valuable posts in your arsenal. This might just lift these posts slightly higher in the search engines and increase your traffic even more.

So get rid of your most recent posts list and replace it with a most popular posts list.

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