I just read Goodbye Yellow Right Double Angle Bracket. Mostly I click the external links in the post to get some more background information, but I think I've either already read them or I can guess what's in them. It's not a very complicated subject, is it?.
I wanted to post something about this for a while and the emphasis used in the paragraph after the huge dash (I really like the big black boxes by the way, and their respective tooltips) made me remember it:
[...] post title separator site name.
For bookmarks, isn't it much easier if it's the other way around?
Well, I spent some time pondering that very question, and the best answer I could come up with is "it depends". Mostly on the length of the site name, but also on how people prefer to browse their bookmarks, and possibly on some other factors as well.
For longer site names (such as Anne's Weblog about Markup & Style), I do think it's better to have the post title first. Otherwise it risks get truncated in the bookmarks list or in the tab title bar, or even in search results. One can (and should!) use favicons instead.
Ah good point, unfortunately you can't sort by favicon in a browser. At least, not that I know of. For the word "mono" however :-)
Your browser doesn't sort favicons?
My favicons appear to be sorted alphabetically ;-)
sort by site...hmmm...another good idea for a browser extension. need to look into the feasibility of this for firefox. oh, and yes, i'm with lars on this one.
For some reason, personally I prefer the site name first and then the post title. It just feels better (makes more sence when it comes to hierarchies). This is the way that Blogger does it, and I have to admit that I'm quite happy with it that way.
However, I also have to agree with Lars. It would have been better if my weblog's title would have been much shorter. Maybe I could make a plan with that... will see.
I rarely use bookmarks and if I were to use them, I would prefer if I was able to sort by website, as has been said.
I do, however, browse a lot, and I frequently have half a dozen or more browser windows in my start bar (maybe that's IE legacy, but I find it easier to browse that way than with tabs).
When browsing with a lot of different windows (the same may be relevant for tabs) it's a lot easier if they are titled;
"Standar…", "post tit…" and "Rob on …"
"Anne's W…", "Anne's W…" and "Anne's W…"
The order of titles may also depend on your type of visitors, if they are only interested in the document or post (instead of the website as a whole), that's the title they want to read in a title bar or on top of a printout.
Heh, I'm glad you like the website as a whole :-).
Patrick, please mail me when that one is finished. (I should probably start investigating making plugin myself, but I'm a little busy.)
I really really really dislike long title and bookmark names. I more often bookmark a site as a quick reference for later research rather than a shortcut to frequently accessed URIs. Pages with long titles are hard to quickly skip (esp. if some of it is truncated to "..." by the browser). So they tend to be ignored and end up in my bookmark "inbox" longer. Others with shorter titles are quicker to and decide if I need to use that resource.
I can only afford quick glances rather than methodical searches with the large number of pages that I bookmarked (bookmarks.html is nearly a meg now!). So I'll often change the title by removing junk that doesn't concisely identify the purpose of the page. E.G. Your home page is bookmarked "Markup & Style" under the "Blogs" folder.
I suspect that my habits mimic search engine habits too. Since web sites often fill their titles with metacrap, only the first part is probably interpreted by the crawler. Furthermore, most crawlers only read a few bytes of a document so long titles duplicating the site name, page name, and keywords just shorten the amount of actual content interpreted. Creative names for pages other than then home page are another annoyance that probably worsen search-engine "affinity" of a site.
So keep those titles short and to-the-point!
Interesting point raised by Jimmy there regarding SEO. Since I seem to be our in-house SEO here, I guess it's my duty to comment. :-)
Since web sites often fill their titles with metacrap, only the first part is probably interpreted by the crawler.
On Google, short titles mean higher listings for those words/phrases. Long titles (more than 80 characters or 8 words) gets your site kind-of blacklisted. Not blacklisted as in your page completely drops off the search engine, neither blacklisted as in it affecting your PR, but blacklisted as in the page gets an overall lower raking under those words/phrases.
So in other words, Google doesn't only look at the first words, it looks at all of the words and long titles are very detremental to your listings.
Mainly my investigation has been on Google, so I don't know for sure about other search engines, but since Google is the market leader I guess they follow similar trend.
Furthermore, most crawlers only read a few bytes of a document so long titles duplicating the site name, page name, and keywords just shorten the amount of actual content interpreted.
Google actually does quite a good job of indexing entire pages.
Most search engines might only read the first few bytes, but now you're talking about numbers rather than popularity. Popularity-wise, most good search engines list entire pages.
Creative names for pages other than then home page are another annoyance that probably worsen search-engine "affinity" of a site.
To keep to "standard" names is mostly (always) a good idea, but this is for usability/accessibility reasons more than anything else. Search engines don't seem to be particularly affected by this.
So keep those titles short and to-the-point!
I, too, had written my thoughts on the matter (which is linked off of one of the links off of one of the... well, you get the idea). Anyways, if it's the home page and I want to bookmark it then I want the Site Name to be first since it's the most relevant information. If I bookmark an article on "Froofroo design" then in trying to locate that article in my bookmarks, I care not about the site name but rather the topic at hand. That's why I put the article title first and then site name last. On the home page I put site name first and tag line last. Too easy. :)
What about this:
<meta name="Site" content="Charl van Niekerk's Weblog">
<meta name="Page" content="Some post about something">
Solving this with metadata would be quite interesting, because then you could choose whether to order your bookmarks by title or by content and that could then be done automatically.