Blog archives have been an important part of blogs since well, there have been blogs, but are they really necessary or relavant any more. Especially now that that it is easier to build search into your site, and find other ways of promoting older posts.
Do your blog archives get any traffic? Take a look at your analytics and see just how much you are really getting. Chances are good that the traffic is very low, close to being nonexistent.
The reason archives tend to not get a lot of use is because people do not click on a link and hope to find what they are looking for. If you happened on a good post you want to find again you probably will not remember the date it was posted, if you cannot remember the post title. Why click through to random years or months of content when you can use the built in search or use Google in hopes of finding what you need. If a reader doesnâ€™t know what to expect on the other end of that link they are not going to click on it.
Many things have contributed to the decline of archives usefulness. Search gives an easier way to find posts if you have an idea what the title may be. Categories and tags are better ways to find posts on a specific topic. Even if you donâ€™t find the post you wanted you might find something else on the same topic that is useful. Especially with larger sites or ones that cover a variety of topics archives simply are not very useful.
Entry Date Is Not a Factor
Entry dates are not an important search factor for websites and blogs. If your content goes out of date quickly than that old content isnâ€™t very useful. Sorry it just isnâ€™t. And having archives is even worse in your situation. Are people really looking for your Motorola Razr review from back in the day? Chances are they arenâ€™t.
Search Engine Crawlers
One of the benefits of archives is giving search engines any easy way of getting around your site. But sitemaps do essentially the same job. If your old posts are not getting updated do you really need that content to be crawled regularly? It should already be indexed so giving another method of search spiders to reach it shouldnâ€™t be a priority. Not to mention creating all these links takes away from the content you are trying to promote and get crawled. If the links arenâ€™t going anywhere useful, REMOVE them.
Reducing Navigation Clutter
Is your sidebar a complete mess? With categories, tags, tag clouds, advertisements, featured posts, recent comments, social media links and whatever else you want to put on the sidebar, can your readers find anything they need? By reducing the number of links and the clutter you just might see an increase in sidebar use. And I am not just talking about archives, although that is a good place to start removing links. Getting traffic deeper into your site and to older blog posts can really be a challenge but overwhelming the reader with options isnâ€™t going to help.
Prominent Blogs Without Archives
Do you still have Archives on your website? Aside from just not thinking about it, why is that? Maybe I am missing something, but i somewhat doubt it.