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How's Movable Type for Google SEO?

Does anyone use this for content mgmt? Any other suggestions?


Undead Hunter

9:02 pm on Aug 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi Folks:
Starting up a content-heavy site on a variety of topics. Ideally I'd like to use a CMS - say, Movable Type but with some editing to focus on catagories, etc.?

I can't get a demo of it - but it seems to me Movable Type publishes pages in HTML format, which is/ought to be good for SEO.

What are your thoughts/experiences, or suggestions?



1:30 am on Aug 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've seen lots of Moveable Type pages (usually blogs) in the Google SERPs, so it's probably just fine.


4:25 am on Aug 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

We use it for about 1 year now and yes... it IS very good in terms of SEO: generates static pages, easy to modify/optimize, Google knows this links-structure and tends to update MT sites frequently.


6:46 am on Aug 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I will third this.

I have found that MT blogs tend to routinely rank highly in Google, and I've been impressed at how quickly my blog entries are indexed (often in just a day or two!).

I have had some scaling probs with MT; with a few added plugins and a year of entries, rebuilds are getting pretty slow, as is comment posting, unfortunately :(. But I've not found any better static-page blog system out there!

Oh, and do look at TypePad, MT's sibling which is basically the next generation of MT but on a hosted platform. Very impressive stuff, though the monthly fees are a little high for my taste.

Undead Hunter

7:07 am on Aug 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

So far so good, folks. I've researched quite a number of other CMS software, mostly OpenSource stuff. Lots of interesting things, but all but 1 of them use long dynamic URL's that everyone says aren't as good for SEO purposes...and that 1, AWF(?) I think it's called, didn't have the World's Greatest Interface. I wasn't intuitive, to say the least, and I have no idea what template editing on it looks like but my suspicion is - not good!

I think MT is the winner. I just need to check out one more - GreyMatter... if anyone has an experience with it, lemme know... and thanks for your comments so far.


7:19 am on Aug 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

If I'm wrong, I apologize in advance, but from everything I've read in the past months, Graymatter is no longer in official development.

Another CMS system, pMachine, uses dynamic content generation, but its new version is supposedly google-friendly (I don't know whether this is true in practice, but you might wanna check it out).


7:40 am on Aug 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I've done a few different kind of sites driven by Movabletype and it's a great choice. Google really likes the static URLs, and you can even mask the fact that it's a MT site if you tinker with the paths and/or do some mod rewrites.

Since the pages are "compiled" (rebuilt) and sit statically, they are displayed lightning fast to visitors, even on heavily shared servers.

MT is also very powerful and very flexible. Think of it almost as simply as a tag driven system to tie HTML to mysql, perl and php. The free plugin community is terrific and has some seriously talented programmers.

Keep in mind though, MT is not free for commercial use. It requires a one time $150 fee (which is happily paid). If you have your own server you can use the MT engine to drive multiple sites and I believe you only have to pay the $150 once.

If MT has a weakness it would be in the user comments - it is far from the best at user management (personal settings don't exist unless you invent a system) and long interactive conversations like you would have here or other "bulletin board" type systems are difficult to manage for both the visitor and the site owner. Supposedly this will change with the upcoming MT "pro" version.


8:02 am on Aug 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The rules for commercial use of MT are, frankly, a bit complicated. I'd link to the page directly, but I don't think I'm allowed to do that there. It should be pretty easy to find from MT's homepage.

If you're looking for a much more sophisticated system for handling members / comments / threading, DEFINITELY check out pMachine. It can essentially double as a blog and rudimentary message forum.

As for MT Pro, there've been no hard-and-fast feature lists released yet, to my knowledge. However, TypePad is apparently built on top of MT Pro code, and there really aren't any more sophisticated member-handling thingies in there that I can see, so I'm not expecting to see this in the regular release of MT Pro either.

Do note, though, that these are my assumptions and speculations. I am not associated with MT or pMachine or any other blogging software.

michael heraghty

3:38 pm on Aug 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've used Movable Type to create several sites, and would reccommend it for its own sake, especially if you are a more of a designer than a techie.It's a wonderful publishing tool, easily configured and extremely user-friendly.

Each of the sites that I use that are powered by MT do well in Google, partly because I pay attention to the SEO tips and tricks that I pick up in this forum, but also because MT produces a clean, well-structured site, particularly if you stick closely to the default HTML and CSS templates.

Google even picks up on all the "comments" and "trackback" pages, because they are static.

I would rate MT nine out of ten as a CM package. (Less one for some advanced features such as registration & site skinning, which, as another person mentioned, may be avaiable in the "pro" version).


3:45 pm on Aug 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

the trick with MT is all in the templates - do a good clean template emphasising the right on-page factors and google will love it.

the categories can be a bit of a pain though - especially if you regularly want to put a post in multiple categories - although the apprentice information architect in me says that is probably more of an indication of a problem with my classification & labelling system than the software :-)


4:39 pm on Aug 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

A couple of tips for optimizing MT:

1) you can configure MT to use categories and other fields in the directory and file names. the settings for that are in the "config > archiving" settings. just use MT tags in the path "archive file template" field. click the help for informative examples. use the "dirify" attribute to make the fields URL-friendly.

2) The "dirify" attribute uses an underscore by default. Consensus is that dashes are better for getting URL keywords picked up. Here's a hack to fix this. I'm no PERL expert so use at your own risk... but this does seem to work for me. NOTE: this will change existing MT folder and file names across any and all blogs you have set up already, if you have been using "dirify" to name folders and/or files.

Find this file: cgi-bin/lib/MT/Util.pm

Make a backup copy of the file.

Go to line 331 or so. It's in the "sub dirify" section of the code. It should look like this:

$s =~ tr!_!s; ## change space chars to underscores

simply change the _ to - and save. That's all it takes.


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