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Templates bad for SEO?
Fortune Hunter

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4181130 posted 1:27 pm on Aug 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

I was reading an article this morning in Search Engine Journal and the author advocated that one of the top 10 mistakes for SEO was using Template websites, Site Builders, Freebie websites that are supposedly optimized. While I personally don't use templates in my designs, I chose to not do it for other reasons besides SEO. I don't like the idea of having my clients web sites look identical to someone else's site with only the information changing, similar to the Vista Print model for business cards, but I digress.

The question is what are the opinions of everyone about this author's statement. Does it hurt your SEO efforts to use templates and site builders and such? If so, why?

 

BeeDeeDubbleU

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4181130 posted 2:20 pm on Aug 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes, no and maybe. ;)

There is no reason why a properly optimised template should be any worse than any other page. The problem is often that people who are using templates are not fully au fait with what they are doing and they may not know how to optimise the pages properly.

brotherhood of LAN

WebmasterWorld Administrator brotherhood_of_lan us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4181130 posted 2:32 pm on Aug 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Template is a very open-ended word in regards to meaning.

- WebmasterWorld threads are all using the same 'template'.
- Millions of wordpress installations are using a 'template'.. borderline 'themes'.

A lot of sites have templates as 'placeholders' for data.

IMHO templates/placeholders/themes are just placeholders for content, which is what search engines and visitors are more interested in.

On the other hand the likes of Google has always been interested in stripping out the template content and finding the unique content of a page, hence ideas like site-links in the serp's, devalued links that are in the template shell, etc.

Maybe it'd be easier to address the author's points as to why he would believe templates are harmful for SEO efforts.

BeeDeeDubbleU

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4181130 posted 2:42 pm on Aug 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

He is probably correct if he is referring to site builders and freebie websites. These do not normally optimise well.

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4181130 posted 1:02 am on Aug 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

You have more control and more flexibility when you write the code yourself. You can also avoid a lot of code bloat and get a cleaner faster-loading site

martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4181130 posted 3:16 am on Aug 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

There used to be a WordPress SEO pack out there, not sure if they're still doing it, but it sabotages the hub structure of a site. The premise is that the hub pages contain summaries of the articles/posts and pose a duplicate content issue. So the SEO Pack puts a meta noindex on the hub page. :o Totally bogus. Whoever created that SEO Pack deserves a kick in the pants. ;)

I never use Wordpress for any of my projects. Wordpress delivers a horrible user experience in terms of site load speed, the code is insanely bloated, and using wordpress is stressful because getting the site hacked and losing your rankings is pretty much inevitable.

Fortune Hunter

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4181130 posted 9:51 pm on Aug 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks guys, I don't think I will be using any templates in the near future, but I guess if I do I will just read through the code and optimize it myself if need be.

shallow

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4181130 posted 6:22 pm on Aug 24, 2010 (gmt 0)


I never use Wordpress for any of my projects. Wordpress delivers a horrible user experience in terms of site load speed, the code is insanely bloated, and using wordpress is stressful because getting the site hacked and losing your rankings is pretty much inevitable.


Then why is WordPress so popular? Several web developers I know use it and swear by it.

My site was put into WordPress and bandwidth soared. However, my biggest problem is that almost every time a new plug-in is installed something else breaks and needs to be fixed.

I don't work on the back end of my site, therefore pay every time something needs to be done...not a complaint but I'm reluctant to upgrade to the latest version because my site is in pretty good shape now.

But then I worry about not having the latest security fixes.

BeeDeeDubbleU

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4181130 posted 6:44 pm on Aug 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

But then I worry about not having the latest security fixes.


That is and always will be the problem with open source.

ErnestHemingway



 
Msg#: 4181130 posted 8:09 am on Aug 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I am not sure what to say, I hear everything out there, GURU Matt Cutts says provide value and good user experience and another expert seo kid says optimize the theme. Too much going on right now, all I see to be honest is that Google is in pure SPAM love do queries for loans, mmo etc and you will see what I mean and I see these guys on top for 2 years or so now. Just get out there build some good content then do what the top guy is doing.

tangor

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4181130 posted 8:42 am on Aug 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Voice of reality here... You make a site. You make it look one way. Voila! You have a Template!

There's smoke and mirrors in some of these SEO stories, mostly smoke and mirrors... IT IS THE CONTENT which propels, not the window dressing (template, look and feel, etc.).

shallow

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4181130 posted 12:45 pm on Sep 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

But then I worry about not having the latest security fixes.


That is and always will be the problem with open source.


So are you saying that with, WordPress, the only way to have the latest security fixes is to upgrade?

I'm still using WP 2.9.2. Are there no security fixes for that version.

As previously mentioned, my site is running nicely now so why fix it if it isn't broken. I have spent a lot of money to get it to this point, to have things fixed after adding this or that plug-in breaks something.

My web developer keeps suggesting I upgrade to 3.0.

btw, he set up a development site on the server so he can test things before moving them to the main site.

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