Multi-page articles

To group multiple URLs together as a single post, simply specify the same Parse.ly canonical URL on all the relevant pages.

Explanation

Parse.ly doesn't just track individual URLs, but actually groups URLs that refer to the same post together. This grouping provides easier, simpler, and more accurate tracking of your content. Internally, we refer to this feature as "Link Aliases". Every post has a "Parse.ly canonical URL", but also may have any number of "aliases", which should be considered logically equivalent to the canonical URL.

Here's an example of an article about the changing demographics of society that appeared on the web across many URLs:

Page URL
Article http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/11/all-the-single-ladies/8654/
Page 2 http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/11/all-the-single-ladies/8654/2/
Page 3 http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/11/all-the-single-ladies/8654/3/
Page 4 http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/11/all-the-single-ladies/8654/4/
Page 5 http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/11/all-the-single-ladies/8654/5/
Printable http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/print/2011/11/all-the-single-ladies/8654/
Single Page http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/11/all-the-single-ladies/8654/?single_page=true
Mobile http://m.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/11/all-the-single-ladies/8654/

The URL structure itself reveals that all of the URLs essentially are from the same article. The first six URLs are portions of the entire article, and then there are three alternative formats - printable, single page and mobile versions. To make sure they're all grouped together, each page should have the Parse.ly canonical URL set to the Article URL (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/11/all-the-single-ladies/8654/, in this case).

For "alias" URLs, any metadata other than the Parse.ly canonical URL will be ignored. For more details, read about how the Parse.ly Crawler works.

It's true that most traffic for this article typically ends up at the Article URL, but tracking the post across all its incarnations is important, especially when you consider social media and search channels. For example, a search engine might get a hit on Page 3 of the article for certain keywords. Your Twitter audience might choose to tweet the Single Page version of the article, or the Mobile version, instead.

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