Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pay Attention To Your Dynamic Page URLs

Pay Attention To Your Dynamic Page URLs

Many sites today display content dynamically from a database. Common examples
include search engines on a site that return directory pages, product pages,
shopping cart pages, or news article pages. Some content management software
also produces pages with dynamic URLs. All dynamic pages can be identified by the
“?” symbol in the URL, such as

Google can crawl and index dynamic pages as long as you don’t have more than 2
parameters in the URL (the example above has two parameters separated by the “&”
symbol). Even so, Google may not spider your dynamic pages for some time.
Spiders do not want to get caught in a loop of trying to index hundreds of thousands
of potential pages.

One easy solution is to create static pages with hardcoded links to your most
important dynamic pages whenever possible. You can a series of sitemap pages just
for this purpose. Yes it can be tedious if you have hundreds or thousands of products
but it well worth the effort. You want to make it as easy as possible for Google to find
all your important pages. This has the added benefit of helping your visitors find a
specific product page – be sure and use the product name or type in the link text.

There is a more advanced technique called URL rewriting whereby you place a
script on your server that changes a dynamic URL to a static page. This method
varies by server platform so this is definitely only something an experienced
webmaster should attempt to implement.