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Are php generated pages suffering with Google?

 8:13 pm on Nov 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have a website that the abc.com/ home page is still ranking fine with several search terms ranking in Google. But ALL of the php generated pages of the website have gone into oblivion... (90 pages) I have done some research on another php generated website that was previously ranking well across the website but that has now also bombed apart from the homepage of xyz.com
I have revamped the content and curiously have shot up with virtually all website pages (php generated) to get 50+ search terms in Yahoos top ten. But nothing has moved with Google... any suggestions?
This occurred about June 4th then corrected one month later and this time happened about October 7th to 9th



 8:59 pm on Nov 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

In principle, php is indistinguishable from standard HTML to the search engines because all they see is the HTML that your PHP code produces. So the issue is not the use of PHP, but the content of these pages. Dynamic pages are subject to cookie-cutter-itis where the <title>s and <meta> information content is duplicated on many pages. This can be seen as a signal of poor quality to Google. A heavy ratio of template content to unique content among these pages can also be a problem. It's a fuzzy area and I'm sure others will have more suggestions.


 9:22 pm on Nov 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

It's also possible that the ratio of shared content (menus, promos etc) are dwarfing the unique page content; it's not directly connected with php - just the temptation to generate pages with little content. To SEs, they appear pretty much identical.


 9:35 pm on Nov 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Some interesting suggestions. I am just re-writing page titles and decriptions (which I thought were useful although not entirely 'unique') Also, there are 'special ogffers' that are shown across many pages although not ALL that have gone.

[edited by: tedster at 10:13 pm (utc) on Nov. 30, 2008]


 5:52 pm on Dec 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Out of interest I do have Google Analytics and it has not shown any duplicate meta tags issues... (although this is obviously not 'content')


 8:05 pm on Dec 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Can you run a couple of pages through the W3C HTML validator to make sure there is not some gross systematic error with the generated pages?

How about running Xenu LinkSleuth over that part of the site to see what you get?

Are there any canonical issues with the URLs? Is there a problem with parameter strings being too long, or with parameters being in a different order depending on the link that was clicked.

This needs a very careful look under every rock to see what might be causing it.


 10:31 pm on Dec 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

The W3C HTML validator of the php pages comes up with 62 errors... although from memory when I have tested a php page before there 'always' seems to be errors.
ie.Line 5, Column 71: NET-enabling start-tag requires SHORTTAG YES.
-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1"/>
Line 6, Column 45: NET-enabling start-tag requires SHORTTAG YES.
<meta name="resource-type" content="document"/>
Line 6, Column 45: document type does not allow element "META" here.
<meta name="resource-type" content="document"/>

I have no idea if this is normal or not. It is a soho Fantastico generated php website.

I run one of the php pages through Link Sleuth and it seems to run fine.. duration 3 seconds - 43779 size - out links 141 - in links 79 - text/html type - status ok - Apache Server.

Any suggestions?


 10:43 pm on Dec 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

It sounds like there may be an earlier error in the code. Given that the error messages are talking about meta tags, you might have some kind of big problem with an unclosed title element, or something else of primary importance at the very top of the source code.


 10:46 pm on Dec 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

How do I rectify that - as it is a Fantastico Soho web builder and it generates the code itself... short answer is I guess... convert to an html website.. but not an easy task having spent about 3 years on it...


 10:53 pm on Dec 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Not sure of any note.. but the xyz.com page is page rank 3 as is the xyz.com/index.php?pr=Home_Page (same page) many of the website pages are page rank 1.


 12:52 am on Dec 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

What do you mean by "same page"?

If that is "multiple URLs deliver the same content", then it looks like you have yourself a classic Duplicate Content issue.

Does you site also resolve at both www and non-www and both return "200 OK"?


 7:33 am on Dec 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

The php site has always had the home page of .com and also home page showing of xyz.com/index.php?pr=Home_Page "Home Page" link showing in the navigation bar. The first one - ie. plain .com is got to from serps and the 2nd once navigating on the site.

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