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Using your own site's search feature for links

Good, bad, and/or ugly



5:59 am on Apr 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

We have our own search function on our site that is a data driven ecommerce site of about 5,000 products. The search function works great and shows an attractive thumbnail/description paginated view of the results. It does such a good job that our marketing department has started using it to link to groups of otherwise dissimilar products on our homepage, in email newletters as well as other areas.

For example:

Assume our search function is called OurSearch.asp?query=search+terms

They are doing stuff like:

Check out our great Easter Widgets here http:/oursite.com/OurSearch.asp?query=easter+widgets

The first few times I saw this, I wasn't overly concerned, they were being innovative because the site otherwise has no provisions for "grouping" our products other than by type (blue widgets, wood widgets, etc.).

Now, however, it is starting to grow well beyond the exception to where our site is littered with these types links. One problem that this causes is that it completely pollutes any meaningful information that is easily gotten from our "Local Keyword" report from our web log (which is different from our SE Keyword report).

My biggest concern, however, is that we are starting to tell Google that OurSearch.asp is a very important page (every one of our PR5 pages is littered with these links) but it will never rank (and it would be meaningless even if it did).

Anyway, I brought this issue up to the higher-ups and they just didn't see it as a problem. I found myself stammering for reasons when I thought it would just be evident as daylight to anyone.

I wound up making a stand on the issue that it would be better to take commonly "grouped" pages and make them appear static by having a facility for marketing to enter a page name and the search keywords into a database that would then do the same thing internally as our search but with dramatically different results.

For example:

They enter the page name of easterwidgets and in the keywords field of the database type "easter widgets" and then they make the links look like "easterwidgets.asp" and our site would return the same results as if someone entered "easter widgets" into our search field but it would really be data driven behind the scenes.

There are some groupings that are so fleeting it wouldn't be worthwhile to do but the majority of the groupings would be permanent enough to warrant this. It would require very little programming to accomplish.

Now, having said all that, my real question is:

Why is the current practice not good, or is it?


6:05 am on Apr 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This is interesting. Someone tell the man! (Or woman)


12:32 pm on Apr 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Ok, so maybe using my nick (WarlordBB) from my game playing days wasn't the brightest idea, but I owned an Internet Gaming Center for a while and that's what everyone knows me as.

I am a he.

I never did get extremely good at CounterStrike, but I can hold my own. I am awesome at Day of Defeat though. And I ran a small but well known monarchy on Leafcull in Asheron's Call as Warlord the Wise. :)


7:54 pm on Apr 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Does anyone have any FEO tips that will help this question rank better on this Forum so I can get some answers. :)


6:03 am on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Lol- My guess is that they all know the answer and they don't consider it important enough to answer. *Shakes Fist Angrily*


8:25 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Well, you're talking about different search RESULTS pages, not just a bunch of links pointing to your search page. Pages with different query strings are different URLs, and they should be treated differently by the major search engines.

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