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How to optimize a dynamic web site

November 22, 2007       (Updated from our original Mar. 3, 2003 article)

The successful search engine optimization (SEO) of a dynamic web site requires complex search engine technology and methods that are substantially different and much more sophisticated than the SEO techniques used for ordinary, more conventional "static" web sites.

In this section, we will explain how Rank for $ales successfully optimizes these dynamic web sites and some of the techniques that we know will achieve good results in the major search portals. Some of these techniques we developed ourselves.

Even as advanced Internet technology is today, it is still rather difficult to get dynamic web sites properly indexed in the major search engines unless they are professionally optimized by a reputable SEO firm. Even if most search engines claim they now index the majority of dynamic web sites and, they do most of the time, our own experience has shown us it won't really happen without some serious optimization work done to them.

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Over and above that, the priority positioning of the site's most important pages is another matter altogether.

Search engine-friendly URL's
At Rank for $ales there are numerous techniques we have developed that we successfully use everyday to convert dynamic URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) into search-engine friendly URLs. However, before going into that topic, we will first look at how dynamic databases used in today's modern e-commerce secure web sites and other large corporate web sites are designed, and the main reasons they are complicated to index in the major search engines.

What prevents dynamic sites from getting in the engines?
Today, most dynamic web pages are created "on the fly" with various technologies such as ASP (Active Server Pages), Cold Fusion technology, Perl and so on and so forth.

To be sure, most of these pages function pretty well for real users actually visiting the web site, but they usually create many problems and sometimes unpredictable serious complications for all major search engines, including most search engine's crawlers or spiders such as GoogleBot and FreshBot, and all the others.

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The simple reason for that is simply because dynamically generated pages don't even exist until a user actually selects or chooses the given variable (s) that generates the pages! Now all search engine spiders or crawlers are not programmed in any way to select or choose any of those variables and they were not intended for that either.

As a result, those dynamic pages don't get generated and as a direct consequence, do not get to be indexed in the engines! The biggest difficulties are that crawlers cannot read and are not trained to understand any of the dynamic databases of URL's which either contain a query string delimited by a question mark or other database characters such as: #&*!% that we refer to as "spider traps".

Once any search engine crawler falls into any of those traps, it usually spells bad news for most dynamic websites. As a direct consequence that most search crawlers have significant problems "reading" any level into a typical dynamic database, most of these search engine spiders have been programmed to initially detect and then ignore most dynamic URLs! If you think this is sad, it is. But there are ways around all of this.

Case study:
Rank for $ales recently increased a client's search engine potential from just nine pages on the whole web site to more than four-hundred pages! Considering that major search engine Google read only nine pages before we sucessfully optimized the site, we seriously think these four-hundred well-optimized pages are drastically increasing our client's search engine presence and visibility on the Internet.

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The real solutions to the "invisibility" problem
At Rank for $ales, we have developed dynamic web site positioning and optimization techniques that can be used to greatly ease the indexing of most dynamic web sites. One of the first techniques that come to mind is the creation and subsequent use of traditional, static pages. Additionally, we have created a new and proprietary technology to convert dynamic URL's to search-engine friendly URL's.

The correct way we use these newly-created static pages is we place links to the dynamic pages on the static pages, effectively submitting the static pages to the major search engines manually and according to each search engine's recommended guidelines. This technique is easily implemented with a sitemap that fully displays all the links to the dynamic pages across the web site.

Today, most crawlers cannot index the entire dynamic pages, but they WILL index most of the content on all the pages, and that is exactly the end result we are seeking.

The right tools for the right job
Rank for $ales has full access to Web-based automated feeds with customizable creation and flexible management application control to generate XML optimized feeds for multiple search engine inclusion programs. We can effectively map any large size e-commerce web site's entire list of products, thus generating an automated XML optimized feed.

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The real key to this complex XML procedure is keyword and key phrase matching between the dynamic site's content and all the various search engine databases in use today.

When we use these special filters and when we input the parameters we want them to use, our unique process then generates hundreds of keywords and key phrases with rich, page-oriented search engine-friendly information that the spiders crave on. That is how we successfully index dynamic web sites for the major search engines.

In closing, always remember that professional search engine optimization (SEO) techniques covering actual website architecture, editorial linking, copy writing, keywords & key phrases etc., are also extremely important for top ranking positions on most major search engine portals today.

Article written by Serge Thibodeau,
President & CEO,
Rank for $ales
Copyright (c) Serge Thibodeau 2003

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