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  • SEO Step By Step Guide– 104. PHP and SEO

    In the last post we saw how AJAX can impede our SEO results. In this post let us consider how PHP pages can hinder our SEO efforts. When compared to HTML pages, PHP poses special challenges to the SEO professionals. However this is not to say that PHP pages cannot be optimized effectively. We an indeed optimize PHP pages to get good search engine ranking.

    One of the major factors that hinder SEO is the page loading time. When the search engine spiders access your website and if your web pages take too long to load because of the server response time, then you will not be able to get the best out of indexing. Spiders will indeed mark your website as unresponsive website. Why do PHP pages take longer to respond because it has to communicate to the database stored in the server. The database and the loop code affect the page’s response time. Though AJAX pages over come the server time delays using an intermediary engine, search bots cannot read Java Script. So we need to use a different technique to optimize our pages. One of the ways recommended to reduce the page’s response time is to avoid the SELECT calls. In place of SELECT calls, it is recommended that we use the names of the columns that we would like to retrieve. Further more we need to use duplicated codes instead of entering into loops that are of repetitive nature. Though loops make PHP coding easier and effective, it is not good for SEO. So in your coding try to avoid coding style that will throw the search engine bots into loops.

    The second factor that you need to take into consideration is to the URL. Your URL should be crawlable. The trick here is to make your PHP pages behave like HTML pages. Normally it is done using Apache server calls. This will work if you have a large site and create duplicate URLs that imitate static URLs. You may have to use a different strategy if your website is a small website. Number of SEO professionals try to minimize the usage of GET variables. Never take chances here; faking URLs should be done carefully by experienced programmers to ensure that you server unique pages when the URLs are unique.

    It is a known fact that PHP pages add session id numbers to the links if your browser should reject cookies. One of the ways of dealing with this problem is to disable the entire trans-id component.

    These are just a few tweaks that you can do to your PHP pages. It is best to hire experienced programmers that are conversant with the principles of SEO. On the whole optimizing PHP pages is not as simple as optimizing HTML pages. Make sure you have the right resources at hand when you decide to go PHP.

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