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Is Your Website Impeding Your SEO?

by Jonathan Fashbaugh  |  
August 11, 2009

As the Web has evolved, websites have become diverse, particularly in how they are constructed. A wide variety of programming languages and design techniques are now used to build websites.

Some of those coding and design techniques are detrimental to search-engine positioning. And if your website uses any of them, it's probably time to build a new website, or at least rebuild in a format that is better suited for search-engine positioning.

The following can be problematic:

  • Websites coded in a database format
  • Websites built with "dirty" code
  • Websites built almost exclusively in images or Flash

Websites Coded in a Database Format

Several programming languages make heavy use of databases in the construction of website pages: .PHP, .ASP, .JSP, and .CFM (ColdFusion). There are others, but these are the popular ones, especially for those built with content management systems (CMS). Another popular one is Joomla.

Just because your website is built with one of these programming languages doesn't automatically mean it is doomed in terms of search-engine positioning. It just depends on whether the programmer who built the website knew how to code it with SEO in mind.

The biggest problem with database-driven websites is that often they inhibit search engine optimization (SEO) of individual pages of the website. In the case of a plastic surgeon's website, for instance, instead of having one page for each procedure or practice area, the website will have only one page or file, and it will dynamically update to fill in the content appropriate for every subject.

For example, rather than having one fill for breast augmentation and one file for tummy tuck, such as this:


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Jonathan Fashbaugh is president of Concerto Internet Marketing ( Reach him by phone, at 970-672-1212, or via his website's contact form.

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  • by Jennifer Saunders Tue Aug 11, 2009 via web

    This article came at just the right time. I'm trying to explain to my client why he should invest in new site design. Now I can send this to him!

  • by Jessie Burkhardt Mon Aug 17, 2009 via web

    Are there any tags you can put on homepage images that search engines can see and read? I love my homepage, but I'm afraid it is all images and no text (besides the navigation bar).

  • by Heidi Cool Tue Aug 18, 2009 via web

    Great points. Technology can really make a difference. While some database and content management systems fail, others like Wordpress can make it easier to implement SEO by customizing page titles and descriptions. I also recently wrote two articles on this topic, one is about using semantic html and the other covers some of the more specific problems regarding Flash.

    Jessie, the semantic html article may help you. Basically you want to make sure you use the alt attribute within all of your images, but if you can find other ways to add plain text to your content it will be a big help.

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