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Static-seeming Sites

November 14, 2007

Hi Jill,


I attended your SEO seminar in July in Denver.  I spoke to you about SEO for dynamic sites, but I have a further question for you regarding that topic. If needed, I am willing to pay for a tele-clinic to discuss.


My company is considering building some new sites where content is loaded from a database. We donít have to, though. We plan on using static URLs no matter what, but we are wondering if it matters whether the content comes from static, unique HTML files, or if the HTML page is served from a database. The content wonít be changing often.


Can Google tell if the content is from a database?  Since weíre building new sites, we want to choose the site architecture that is optimal for SEO.


I appreciate your advice on the matter.


Thank you!!!!






++Jillís Response++


Hi Casey,


Nice to hear from you!


Thereís no reason to be concerned with your site having content thatís pulled from a database. Practically every site online these days works that way. Itís not a problem at all. Even dynamic-looking URLs with question marks and other parameters are not a problem for search engines these days, as long as you keep the parameters to a minimum. Most SEOs recommend no more than 3 parameters in a URL query string.


With dynamic websites that have content pulled from a database, you just need to make sure that you have links to whatever content you want people and search engines to see.  In other words, you donít want to design your website so that the only way to view the products and services is via a site-search box.  Search engine robots canít perform searches on your site, so they would never be able to find your content that way.  The same goes for some types of drop-down menus.


But if you design your website so that you have spiderable navigation with links to pages full of information, even though those pages are dynamically created on the fly, they will essentially appear to be static HTML pages to the search engines and your human visitors.

In case youíre wondering, you donít need to worry about the extensions of your pages either.  It makes no difference to the search engines whether page names end in .htm, .html, .php, .cfm, .asp, .aspx, or any other extension (even made-up ones!).


Hope this helps!