PHP SEO And Spiders Oh My

PHP SEO And Spiders Oh My

Dynamic database-driven sites have become very popular,​ and relatively easy to​ set up and administer,​ through the​ use of​ Content Management Systems (CMS) and PHP server-side scripting. It's also possible to​ create a​ fancy-looking site with little actual content,​ or​ automatically generated code that can harm your SEO,​ such as​ multiple URLs that display identical content.

Search engines are constantly evolving and adapting in​ response to​ changes in​ the​ way information is​ presented on​ the​ web. Strategies that were once necessary to​ ensure inclusion of​ PHP pages are no longer required.

It was once helpful to​ generate a​ static HTML version of​ a​ PHP page so that all the​ "includes" could be indexed. Now search spiders "see" all the​ content on​ a​ PHP page,​ the​ same way it​ is​ viewed in​ a​ browser.

It used to​ be prudent to​ avoid dynamic URLs containing "? & =" - now,​ the​ search engines list URLs with the​ dynamic variables. However,​ it​ is​ best to​ compose them with no more than three variables. Some variable-laden URLs may be listed,​ but without any accompanying content/description,​ in​ the​ search results... Stay tuned for further developments as​ the​ search engines refine their methods.

With many hosts running the​ popular Apache server,​ developers are expanding the​ use of​ PHP by modifying the​ .htaccess file to​ allow PHP code processing within HTML documents,​ and enabling shorter URLs with fewer variables by configuring httpd.conf. Your web hosting provider's support team should be able to​ tell you​ if​ these features are available for your site.

Implementing a​ common-sense approach to​ SEO for your PHP site requires cooperation and coordination among the​ developer,​ webmaster,​ and web host. Beware of​ "SEO Experts" with "secret methods" and "guaranteed results" - gimmicks that kludge the​ search spider today might hurt your ranking tomorrow.

A descriptive and catchy page title is​ one of​ the​ key elements of​ SEO - whether or​ not your site uses PHP - since it​ becomes the​ linked title of​ your search engine listing. Use the​ name of​ your site in​ the​ title to​ encourage branding,​ along with a​ brief capsule about the​ specific page. Remember that the​ title displays at​ the​ top of​ the​ browser window and in​ the​ menu bar,​ so keep it​ brief,​ less than 160 characters. Avoid using identical titles on​ multiple pages (this can easily happen with dynamically generated titles) because they may not be listed individually,​ and if​ they are listed separately,​ it's confusing. Meta tags for description and keywords have become less crucial to​ SEO - but that doesn't mean you​ should forget about them.

The basic principles of​ SEO that apply to​ static HTML sites also apply to​ dynamic PHP sites:

● Provide engaging and valuable content presented in​ an​ attractive design.

● Code should be error-free and standards-compliant.

● Use keywords appropriate to​ your subject matter - don't be tempted to​ use "tricks" that might end up hurting your search engine listing.

● Encourage repeat visits with frequent updates,​ interactive features,​ membership sign-up,​ opt-in newsletters and,​ if​ appropriate,​ "freebies" - contests,​ giveaways,​ downloads and other resources.

● Encourage linking to​ your site with copy & paste code. Reciprocal links build partnerships and enhance page rank,​ but avoid hosting bulky "link farms" and other venues for worthless web site spam.

● Make use of​ tools provided by the​ search engines,​ such as​ creating a​ sitemap.

● Educate yourself by reading the​ search engine faqs,​ as​ well as​ by perusing some independent forums for SEO tips and methods.

Here are a​ few resources for further information:

Optimizing Dynamic Content

Building Dynamic Pages With Search Engines in​ Mind

High Rankings(r) Search Engine Optimization Forum > Technobabble > Dynamically Generated Site Issues

Digital Point Forums > Marketing > Search Engine Optimization > PHP,​ HTML does it​ matter?

Parsing PHP in​ .html Files

PHP SEO And Spiders Oh My

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