In a shortened work day, I began a very specific quest for perfection...or, at least, for improvement.Suite 101 had been adversely affected by Google's Panda update in late February. They just published new guidelines for articles.

Perhaps thanks in part to an opinion I expressed, any article may have no more than three explicit links to other Suite 101 articles. The draft suggestion had whittled this down to two links. My argument was that even a chain of articles needs a "first", "previous" and "next" pointer. Otherwise a reader has to work too hard to find the start.

My actual concern was that I had written a mesh of articles about Mennonites. One reason is that Suite 101 has a category for Mennonites, and it had been achingly empty. Another reason is that I wanted to cash in on the January and July furniture hunting opportunities. Can we spell "Amish Furniture", boys and girls?

Based on the guidelines and suggestions available back in December 2010, I had written articles about Mennonites with many internal links. Besides first, previous and next links, I had cross-links among history, beliefs and products.

I agree with the theory that articles should not shamelessly self-promote the author. They should also stay relevant to the reader's intention as indicated by the search result.

On the other hand, it is quite a bit of work to decide how to reduce my inter-linking. The biggest problem comes in the introductory articles where I wanted to give my readers a chance to jump to their specific point of interest.

Having fixed some easy articles, I then tackled the worst offender. I think I shall leave the second-worst alone for now, and see whether an editor flags it.

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    Mike DeHaan

    Mike DeHaan began writing professionally in 2010 as the sole proprietor of DeHaan Services.To see this information with the best background image, please refer to "About.Me",  befriend me at Facebook, or circle me at Google+.


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