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Search Engine Optimization Tips for Blogs – Site Themes and Design

Time for a couple more tips for the Search Engine Optimization Tips for Blogs Series:

  • Themed sites – One of the growing theories of SEO that I’ve been reading about recently is that you are more likely to rank well if you have a substantial amount of pages on a similar theme. ie a niche topic blog will probably rank higher than a general one that covers many topics. Build a blog with over 200 pages of content on the same theme and you’ll increase your chances of ranking well as SEs will see you as an authority on the topic. The take home advice here is to keep to some kind of a topic/niche/theme for your blog. Of course not doing so doesn’t mean you’ll never rank well – it’s just another factor to consider.
  • Site Design – Search Engines like well laid out, well coded and easily to navigate sites. Make sure your pages validate (I need to work more on this) and that they are viewable on all major browsers. Search Engines don’t tend to like too much Flash, Frames or Java Script in your site – keep it simple and clean and their robots will index your site a lot faster and more accurately.
About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  1. I also found that the search engine is not particularly thrilled with dynamic pages either. I am using WordPress which uses PHP and mySQL to store all blog entries and pages. My page’s URL used to have ” index.php?pagename=blah” in it and googlebot doesn’t like to index it. I had to use mod_rewrite to change every page on my site to static pages to make the page URL more crawler friendly. The result is quite significant.

  2. It’s well known that search engine robots have difficulties with dynamically generated URLs. Friendly, human readable URLs will also help your users to easily remember them.

  3. +1 for what Yunasville said about making sure you have static pages. I think you can set this in the Admin section too.

  4. don’t forget to use the “-” instead of “_” in your *friendly urls!

    about Validation: it is not that easy if you are using any kind of CMS. Most of them (or even plugins) will spit out wrong code. The same to code from external sites like adsense.

    try to validate as good as possible

  5. Yes, the WordPress Admin page has an option for you to rewrite the URL for your blog entries. However, it won’t do the pages correctly. I had to customized the .hraccess file to add more RewriteRules to get the static pages showed up correclty.

  6. The “dynamic pages suffer in Google” argument is rubbish! I have a site, designed in ASP which totally relies on URL parameters to work and it is usually in the top 5 pages in Google for its chosen keywords.

    Other factors are much more important: inbound links (I swear by DMOZ), semantic markup, good use of keywords and title tags. To name but a few.

  7. I’m not an expert in the field, but I believe a google site map would do away with the dynamic pages and messy url problem.

  8. […] eading this Series at Offsite Techniques Keywords Internal Links and Frequent Posting Site Themes and Design Outbound […]

  9. I’m with Gerard McGarry on this. The only problem I’ve had with Google is that it didn’t used to like the letters ID as the querystring value name eg mysite.aspx?pageID=1

    it might have been because it thought the ID stood for session ID.

    Does anybody know if this is still the case?

  10. Here is another tip;

    Google doesn’t like JavaScript menus. Menus that are dynamically produced with a document.write()

    My official site was indexed 20 times and only 5 or 6 pages showed out of 35!

  11. Having a website with only one area which it covers is obvious that it would rank higher than one which covered a substantial amount of topics. I think this is just common sense because for one the keywords they are targetting would generall appear more.

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