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Optimizing content from a database

   
2:23 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Here's another question sparked from the one about optimizing larger Web sites:

We've run across several folks who have 99% of their content coming out of a database and being displayed on just one page in a template. There may be 15 main categories on their site w/ hundreds of articles or pages of content, but because of the template the Title, Description, Keywords, etc...are always the same.

Would you recommend possibly making the META data also database-driven so that the Title of the article is the Title of the page, etc?

It seems that many times you get programmers who build the backend of these sites w/o any understanding of SEO and kind-of build you into a box.

Any thoughts? Also - are their advantages/disadvantages of having your content database-driven?

1:25 pm on Jan 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



but because of the template the Title, Description, Keywords, etc...are always the same.

This is no inherent limitation of using templates. It simply shows a poor implementation of the templates approach. Templates are used to achieve a consistent layout throughout your site. They are not used to limit your way of conveying information.

Would you recommend possibly making the META data also database-driven so that the Title of the article is the Title of the page, etc?

Just because you are using a database to store your content does not mean that the usual rules about authoring HTML do not apply. The W3C has this to say about the title element:

Authors should use the TITLE element to identify the contents of a document.

http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/global.html#h-7.4.2

So if the article is the main feature of the page then the title of the article should be used as the content of the title element of the document containing the article.

It seems that many times you get programmers who build the backend of these sites w/o any understanding of SEO and kind-of build you into a box.

That may or may not be true. Itīll all depend on the contract between you and the programmer. Just specify that the system needs to be SE friendly. Then it is up to the programmer to build the system in a SE friendly way. I believe that when programmers build the backend w/o any understanding of SEO then that is entirely your fault for not telling them otherwise.

Andreas

8:14 pm on Jan 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I believe that when programmers build the backend w/o any understanding of SEO then that is entirely your fault for not telling them otherwise.

Thanks for the comments. IF we were involved in the development process from the beginning, that would have been true. Since they started talking to us well after the site was finished and didn't want our imput because they "had it under control" it's on their end! :)

Thanks again

8:25 pm on Jan 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



they "had it under control" it's on their end!

Well thatīs too bad for them.

I didnīt consider the fact the you might not have had any control over the project from the beginning. ;)

Andreas