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Old 17th April 2012, 06:10 PM   #1

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Greenville, NC
Posts: 64
Default How Does Google Index A Page Generated By A Content Management System


Usually when I have a head-scratcher I come to this forum because of the quality of responses I get. After some years of doing SEO work, I still get puzzled by exactly how Google indexes a page that is generated by a content management system with a back end database.

For example, WordPress has a MySQL backend. So, WordPress pages are an assembly of php scripts that make the page and its components, the external style sheet makes it pretty and the database holds the "meat and potatoes" of the page.

How exactly does Google pull all this together to determine if that page will rank well. Content management system pages are often problematic when trying to get good rankings and some of the SEO mods are pretty worthless, to say the least.

I can understand running through the contents of a static page, with all the meta tags, h1 stuff, text, tags, links etc. all neatly assembled in one place, but when it's scattered on a server, how's that happen?

Well, sorry to show my ignorance, but any insights would be appreciated on this topic.

Casey Turton
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Old 18th April 2012, 11:12 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Triangle area, NC, USA, North America, Earth (usually)
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Search Engine Guide Blogger


Google's spiders essentially see what your web browser sees. If you want to see what a dynamically assembled page "looks" like to Google, just do a "view source" in your browser.

Doesn't matter if it was coded by hand or assembled using PHP and MySQL. It's all HTML by the time it gets to the web.

The SEO problems with CMS's arise when (for instance) they're set up to force the same title tag on every page, or where they don't allow the page to have a different H1 and title element, or where they don't allow the inclusion of alt elements on images, that sort of thing. The issues have to do with what data is in the database and how it gets pulled.

Once the page is rendered for the browsers and search spiders, though, there's no difference between the code of one that was dynamically generated from a database and one that was lovingly coded by hand in Windows Notepad.


Diane Aull - NineYards.com: Helping Businesses Do Business Online
Whether you think you can, or that you can't, you are usually right.
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Old 18th April 2012, 06:21 PM   #3

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Greenville, NC
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Smile Thanks for the quick reply

Yep. I've done the "view source" thing with CMS systems. My trick has been to go into the php or .asp pages, whatever the software is created in, and override the auto-generated meta tags from the systems setup program. Laborious and a short-term solution.

Looks like I was thinking too hard on this one.

Casey Turton
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