Dynamic isn’t always good in SEO

Posted on April 4, 2010

 

Dynamic is one of those positive words – a word that can only mean good things. Dynamic means ‘action’, it means ‘exciting’ and it also describes the Dynamic Duo of Batman and Robin.

That’s always a good thing. However, for SEO, dynamic isn’t always that great.

In the online world, many sites out there have a dynamic component, whether it be simply search page assembly or whether it’s individually tailored content. Every form of dynamic content can present problems for SEO. The extent of the dynamic component determines just how difficult those problems will be.

The main issue with dynamic content is that the search engines sometimes have trouble indexing it. When the content of a page changes depending on the viewer, the search engine spiders have no way of knowing whether the cached page is the one that will appear. This could lead to suspicions of doorway pages – showing one page to the search engines and another to users!

The search engines report that their relationship with dynamic content is much better these days, but this is a report that most optimisation experts don’t trust. The truth of the matter is: sites with large amounts of dynamic content are at more risk of communication problems with the search engines. Your site’s position in the search engine results depends on its ability to communicate clearly with the search engines. Anything that puts that into danger is essentially hindering your site.

Dynamic URLs present a further problem for search engine optimisation. It is well known that the search engines simply don’t like dynamic URLs, which tend to contain number-coded pages and ‘?’ symbols. The use of a ‘?’ denotes a query string, and search engines have experienced problems with them in the past because of the presence in some query strings of sessions – which Google in particular was never a fan of.

When the search engines are put off, your site faces being put off the search engine results pages as well.

It’s important to think about your dynamic content when you SEO. If the content isn’t absolutely necessary, it can be easier just to get rid of it. If, on the other hand, your site relies on dynamic content, as many retail sites do, you may need to speak to a search engine optimisation professional to know how to best display it.

Holy dynamic content Batman!

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