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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist Azam.net's Avatar
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    Question Building content site for SEO: use flat HTML or CMS?

    Lets say you were building a website with dozens of quality articles purely to drive traffic from organic listings. Would it be better from an SEO perspective to set-up the site using HTML or would CMS be more effective?

    Do CMS systems like Joomla create unnecessary code which makes them less appetising to search bots?

    Or is the extra code outweighed by the advantages (easier to add content, can have RSS feeds, social networking bookmarks, pings etc.)?

    Thanks.
    Azam Marketing, Inc.
    Award-Winning Digital Marketing and Design Results Since 1997
    Click here to read acclaimed online marketing & design blog

  2. #2
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    It won't make a single bit of difference from an SEO perspective. It will however make a difference from a time saving and maintenance perspective, since using a CMS will free up more time to the quality relevant content that you want the search engines to crawl and index. For more information, please consult the Search Engine Optimization FAQ thread by John Conde (stymiee).

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    As Dan said ther'es no difference what you use. What does matter is the the output is marked up correctly, ie using correct heading tags, paragraphs and lists as approriate, adding user friendly alt attributes, and good descriptive text link text. Plus of course page titles and meta tags!

    A lot of CMS templates don't always follow these conventions so it's always best to rewrite them to your own satisfaction.

  4. #4
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    Exclamation Hmmm...

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but CMS like Joomla tend to create SEO unfriendly URLs. Sorta like:

    http://www.somesite.com/site&*^%url234

    Instead of

    http://www.somesite.com/this_is_a_readable_url

    I believe you need to install an add-on that will make URLs SEO friendly, plus a couple of other things. I though that, from a strictly SEO perspective, pure HTML coding is the best way to go since it gives the developer complete control over how Search Engines will crawl your site.

    Am I wrong to say this?
    SEO Multilingual - International SEO and Web Design

  5. #5
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    If you're referring to session IDs, then yes. If you're referring to variable based paths, like index.php?page=article&article=sitepoint-promotes-new-book then no. The former is hard for search engines to follow, but they will follow the latter with few, if any, problems.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy DaveWoods's Avatar
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    Dan they will follow them but weight is given to keywords in a URL so out of the box Joomla isn't that great in that respect.

    However, I've just implemented the following plugin onto one of the Joomla sites I work on...

    http://extensions.joomla.org/compone...380/Itemid,35/

    (The site for anyone that's interested is the Eurocom link in my sig).

    I've not figured out how to get it working with custom components just yet and therefore the job vacancies section still users the unfriendly version but for the out of the box content that Joomla generates, its done the job great, with only a little tweaking needed.

    Hope that helps.

  7. #7
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    Me too

    I agree with ye.

    I've used that plug-in on a site I working on for a client. It seems to do a great job making those URLs nice and readable. It also adds an extra option on the admin panel if I'm not mistaken.
    SEO Multilingual - International SEO and Web Design

  8. #8
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Dave, aren't we going about two different ways of agreeing here? (Besides, if you're going to go with the "out of the box" reference, WordPress is just as guilty since it uses page IDs by default, even though the option to use keyword rich URL path names is available under Options > Permalinks.)

    Note I said nothing bad about variable based URL paths - ONLY session IDs (?sid=389yaiodnfvahi09843q0adjajeheiadjaqejd3264a46a4d6fae4gb6a4 for example)

  9. #9
    SitePoint Zealot jvr's Avatar
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    I agree mr. Dan, but why session ID's only? Just curious...

  10. #10
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Because (IIRC that is) they're considered to be separate URLs and are hard to crawl anyway.


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