Overcoming search engine problems with indexing databases and personalized dynamic pages...

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Overcoming search engine problems with indexing databases and personalized dynamic pages

A dynamic page is one that usually takes information from one or more sources (CGI scripts, databases, etc.) and builds that page in real time on request, whereas a static page is one that all the information you actually see in your browser has been written into the web page and has previously been uploaded to a server.

It is easier to update product listings or price changes on a database driven site than on static HTML pages. You can simply edit the database instead of having to change sometimes hundreds of individual webpages.

The inability of many major engines to index the content of databases and dynamic pages

Whilst these "dynamic sites" are very attractive for their ease of administration, they often cannot be traversed by some types of "spiders" that many of the search engines send out onto the internet to find and index web-sites. Spiders cannot fill out the forms that query databases, but there are workarounds:

  • AltaVista - Turning database content into static
  • Apache Advice
  • Cold Fusion Advice
  • Domino Advice
  • ASP101 - The 404 trick
  • Clickz articles about optimizing dynamic sites

    ASP dynamic pages can be indexed by some search engines, but not all. You could try the XQASP software which converts the parameters of your dynamic ASPs into a format that is search engine friendly. It actually indexes the values behind a query string, stripping out the all the programmatic characters (?,&,= and $) that cause the trouble.

    JSP pages are known to be spidered by AltaVista, Google, Go, NorthernLight, but many others ignore them.

    Even if the search engine spider can read these extended URL addresses, it may experience a timeout during the period whilst the page is being dynamically built.

    Your home page URL shouldn't need to contain a symbol such as a question mark. Try to keep it as a static HTML page and create static pages that link to all of your dynamic pages. If your database can build your pages and serve them on the fly, can it build them and save them as static files as well?

    Server Side Includes (SSI) do not present a problem for search engine optimization as they appears as hard-coded HTML on your pages. The document is actually compiled first on the server-side, then delivered to the client. You cannot exclude server side includes using the robots.txt file.

    Search engines cannot fill in forms

    Sites that require a password or registration lock out search engines. Remember, you should regard your pages as "spider food" - you shouldn't put up any obstacles that encourage them to eat elsewhere.
    Open the gateway, go through the doorway and proceed down the hallway. Click here to find out why search engines don't like conduit pages... and finding the positive from this negative...




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