Site Design Mistakes – Database Parameters In URLs
Web Site Design Mistakes – Database Parameters In URLs
Creating a web site takes thought, planning and execution. Unfortunately,
many designs are dead in the water before they are even published
as far as search engine optimization is concerned. Whatever you
do, avoid these critical mistakes.
Database Parameters in URL
Many web site designers don’t take into account the effect
of database parameters in site URLs. A database parameter tells
the server what should be loaded onto a particular page when a viewer
tries to see it. In essence, the page is “dynamic” because
it is being pulled together with each click.
Robot programs that are used by search engines to index sites hate
dynamic pages. Often, they will not even index the pages and the
page of your site is not listed in the search engine.
Let’s look at an example using the Nomad Adventure Journals
site. The home page URL is aptly, http://www.nomadjournals.com -
a static page. In this URL, there are no parameters telling the
server to load anything other than a static web page. All search
engines will index this page without any problem.
Now, what if we changed the page to something dynamic. Let’s
say we designed it to record the session identification [identify
the viewer] and dynamically load the pictures on the page. We would
have one parameter for the session identification and four parameters
for the various pictures on the page. The URL for the home page
might look something like:
What a mess. A search engine robot is going to balk at indexing
such pages. It simply can’t tell what is on the page. If you
have parameters and session identifications in the URLs of your
site pages, you are going to have a very difficult time getting
into the search engine rankings. Obviously, that precludes you from
getting any top rankings and free traffic.
Fixing The Problem
Fixing the problem often is lengthy and costly depending on the
number of pages on your site. If you have over 100 products, a complete
re-design may be the best answer. If you have a relatively small
number of pages, there may be less brutish options.
Converting pages to static html is a definite solution for smaller
sites. Essentially, one would take the page for each product and
convert it into a static html page. The domain would then be converted
to short sub-domain. If a user then clicked on the “buy”
button for the product on the page, they would be sent to a dynamic
database page. The viability of this solution is dependent upon
the layout of the site. Some sites can be fixed, some simply cannot.
The database parameter problem is surprisingly common with sites
selling products. A majority of site designers do not understand
search engine optimization and don’t realize the problem they
are creating. If you intend to build a database driven site, make
sure you bring in a search engine optimization specialist before
it is created. Nobody wants to spend the money to design a site
About the Author
Halstatt Pires is with
http://www.marketingtitan.com - an Internet marketing and advertising
company in San Diego, California.