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1. Joe - April 23, 2007

How to make Dynamic Pages SE compatible?

The accepted rule is the more complex the URL in terms of the query strings, the less likely the link will be followed and subsequent pages will be spidered by a search engine.

The most common instances of dynamic pages are online stores with product catalogs and shopping carts, Web sites that involve user account registration, Content Management Systems (CMS), or any combinations of the above.

Solutions and Strategies

1. Create a series of interlinked static HTML pages related to the Website theme and feed it to the spider from the home page, via an unnoticeable link. Search engines will read and index these pages, later showing them in their results. Pay attention to place links on the home page on each static page to facilitate navigation for the visitors coming from the search engines. This is simplest and most efficient solution, most time-consuming though.

2. The most complicated technical workaround strategy is making the full dynamic site accessible to spiders, without letting them ever know it’s dynamic.

Firstly, Change the way the server handles and parses certain file types and hide any query strings in the URLs. Assuming we’re on an apache server, it involves working with “.htaccess” files. You may choose to tell the server to process the
“htm” files as dynamic ones, leaving the “html” extension for standard static pages. You may also use a separate virtual folder name. E.g. xxx i.e. Teach the server to treat all URLs beginning with “www.yoursite.com/xxx/” as dynamic pages and to run a certain server-side script to handle them.

The following URL:

http://www.yoursite.com/product.php?code=3456&color=blue (not search engine friendly at all)

is transformed into the following using the procedure mentioned above:

http://www.yoursite.com/xxx/product.php/code/3456/color/blue

or

http://www.yoursite.com/xxx/code/3456/color/blue/dynamicpage.htm

This link looks friendly and the search engine robot won’t reject it.

These links can be achieved by working with the “.htaccess” file manually or by using one of the following solutions suggested:

CGI /Perl: Environment variables “Path_Info” and “Script_Name” (http://fly2.ws/CGI) can be used in the server-side scripts to get the complete URL address. Parse and translate it into the standard request with the query string information. The solution is to write a script that removes all the information before the query string, making the remaining information equal to the number of “variable-value” pairs for later using them in the URL address.

PHP: Use “$_SERVER [‘REQUEST_URI’]” (http://fly2.ws/PHP) environmental variable for the same purpose as described above for CGI / PERL.

Active Server Pages (ASP): XQASP (http://fly2.ws/ASP), an excellent tool for converting dynamic ASP pages into search-engine friendly formats.

Apache Software: The Apache server has a module called “mod_rewrite” (http://fly2.ws/Apache) available for Apache 1.2 and beyond, that converts requested URLs on the fly. You can rewrite URLs containing query strings into SE’s friendly URLs.

ColdFusion: Reconfigure ColdFusion on the server so that the “?” in a query string is replaced with a “/”, passing the value to the URL.

3. Use paid inclusion programs, offered as an option by most major search engines, as well as XML trusted feed programs based on refresh indexing to get dynamic site indexed. When indexing dynamic sites through an XML feed, first ensure that the site is properly optimized using traditional SEO Techniques.


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