Friday, May 14, 2010

Thoughts on SEO

Search Engine Optimization is the big deal now, and it turns what I know about web pages on its head. For example, I recently worked on a website that had over 100 pages that were copies of the index page. They were named in a way that would attract the attention of search engines -- so if we were talking about a soda website, there were 100 identical pages named something about soda, like cola.php, berry-soda.php, lemon-lime-soda.php. These pages were NOT made from a template so maintenance was a nightmare, but the site ranked high in the search engines. So, the new model: static pages, lots of text, redundancy and repetition -- pretty much the opposite of the elegant code a programmer likes to see. I suppose if these pages were generated nightly through code or batch processing one could preserve the control and simplicity that programmers prefer. At the very least, generating these pages from a Dreamweaver template would really help with site maintenance.

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