HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE RANKING – TECHNICAL ASPECTS

How do you achieve a good ranking in the search engines when most of their spiders can’t handle dynamic URLs?

 

Why are dynamic websites difficult for search engines to index?

 

On today’s Internet, database driven or dynamic websites are very popular and necessary to pass information between the database and the user in the easiest way. Database driven websites often need certain information before they can return page contents: session id, cookie data, or query string.

URLs containing Query string use a question mark (?). The problem is web crawlers cannot read and are not trained to understand a dynamic website’s URLs containing question marks (?) , equal signs (=) or other marks such as: # , & , ! and so forth. These signs are referred to as “spider traps.” Any of these signs in the URL spell bad news for dynamic websites. Most of the search engine spiders check the URL for these signs, and then ignore it.

On today’s Internet, database driven or dynamic websites are very popular and necessary to pass information between the database and the user in the easiest way. Database driven websites often need certain information before they can return page contents: session id, cookie data, or query string.

URLs containing Query string use a question mark (?). The problem is web crawlers cannot read and are not trained to understand a dynamic website’s URLs containing question marks (?) , equal signs (=) or other marks such as: # , & , ! and so forth. These signs are referred to as “spider traps.” Any of these signs in the URL spell bad news for dynamic websites. Most of the search engine spiders check the URL for these signs, and then ignore it.

 

Here is an example of a dynamic website’s URL:

www.website.com/pages.asp?id=250&sname=hello%3ADear&category=movies

 

What is going wrong? Please notice these URLs:

  1. https://www.website.com/products/category.asp?cid=45
  2. https://www.website.com/products/category.asp?cid=84
  3. https://www.website.com/products/category.asp?cid=155

 

These web pages show you the product lines from the database. They simply change the query string (category id), and a separate page opens, with the corresponding product. This does not give you a good website ranking.

 

Place a mask of static URL (rewrite URL as static look) on dynamic URL:

  1. https://www.website.com/products/screens.html
  2. https://www.website.com/products/cellphones.html
  3. https://www.website.com/products/harddisks.html

These pages can be highly ranked in search engines. Your Web pages are still dynamic and database driven. You only place a mask of static URL upon the dynamic URL.

Please use CGI/Perl scripts.

 

Example:

https://www.website.com/products/category.asp?cid=5

 

Write a script that strips out all the information before the query string and the query string part of the dynamic URL is assigned to a variable. In the above example “?cid=5” is assigned to a variable, say “M”. Now you can use that variable in your URL address.

Now the dynamic URL will changes to https://www.website.com/products/category/M which can easily be indexed by search engine.

Apache has a special rewrite module (mod_rewrite) that allows you to translate URL’s containing query strings into URL addresses that search engine spiders can easily index. The mod_rewrite is not installed with Apache software by default. You will need to check with your web host and see if it’s available on your server.

Most webmasters have adopted this technique for search engine ranking. That is, create a static Web page and link all other dynamic Web pages to it. This approach is very effective, especially if you are the owner of a small online store selling a few products online.

Another similar technique is to create static pages and place on them links to dynamic pages. Place all appropriate keywords, meta tags, and titles in the static pages (optimize code). Place these static pages in the search engines and get your ranking. However, this technique is not suitable for large websites, with thousands or millions of dynamic pages.

You can use any of the existing techniques to make a dynamic page URL look like a static page URL. You should not modify you page design or page URL addresses after submitting them to search engines. Your dynamic pages still need to have good contents, meta tags, and appropriate keywords, and should be fully optimized.

Your Ranking – Your Success