Warning! Content Management Systems Can Damage Search Engine Positioning

Content management systems are great for maintaining large web sites, but many systems produce side effects with serious negative consequences for search engine positioning.

Content management systems (CMS) are designed to ease the development and maintenance of large sites. They are particularly useful for sites where a lot of people work on the content, and for dynamic web sites, such as online stores.

Most of these systems were built without much thought to how the content they generate fares in search engine results. Unfortunately, this means some CMS-created web sites are all but invisible to most search engines.

The good news is that there are workarounds and other potential solutions for most CMS platforms. The current issue of Content Management Focus has a feature article covering the issues and solutions related to CMS and search engines.

The author, Sandra Higgison, attended the recent Search Engine Strategies conference in London and spoke with a number of experts, including speakers Mikkel deMib Svendsen, Alan Perkins, Jill Whalen and Danny Sullivan, who all offered interesting insights into the problem.

Higgison also spoke with CMS vendors and customers. The result is an excellent overview of the challenges users of CMS systems face.

Although Higgison's article is considered premium content, available only to subscribers of the magazine, Sandra has graciously provided a special URL for SearchDay readers to access the article at no charge.

Even if you don't use a content management system for your own web site, the article is well worth reading to understand yet another reason why some content is part of the invisible web, hidden from even the best search engines.

Warning! Your CMS could damage your content's health
Content Management Focus Magazine, June 2003

Making Dynamic and E-Commerce Sites Search Engine Friendly
SearchDay, October 29, 2002
Many dynamic and e-commerce web sites are unwittingly part of the Invisible web, but there are several strategies for making them more search engine friendly.

Search Engines And Dynamic Pages
This article, available to Search Engine Watch members, provides additional information about testing for and solving dynamic delivery problems.

Search Headlines

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About the author

Chris Sherman is a frequent contributor to several information industry journals. He's written several books, including The McGraw-Hill CD ROM Handbook and The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See, co-authored with Gary Price. Chris has written about search and search engines since 1994, when he developed online searching tutorials for several clients. From 1998 to 2001, he was About.com's Web Search Guide.