How Dynamic Web Pages Rank in Search Engines vs Static Web Pages
Dynamic pagesThe internet used to consist solely of HTML or static web pages, i.e., web pages that are not changed before being displayed in a web browser. However, now dynamic web pages are the norm when a shopping cart is involved because the software loads the category and then collects the product searched for and the images, size, color chart, etc. and assembles everything as the browser loads the page. Those pages may change depending on the search terms.
In order to generate dynamic pages it requires a script program such as ASP, PHP or CMF to generate instructions to call up and construct the dynamic pages after the surfer inputs some data in a search program. Dynamic pages often use characters in their URL which prevent the search engines from reading and indexing the data on that page, i.e., "&id=". They also often utilize Session IDs in the URLs which, if not properly written, will prevent search engines from following links on that page (or cause an inflated page count) and those pages don't gain PR (Page Rank) from Google either. If you are familiar with using HTACCESS you can rewrite the URLs. There are other ways of getting around this but it requires special software. You can find more info on session IDs on WebMasterWorld's forum: Can Google crawl ASPX pages?
Static PagesStatic pages are designed with html and are not drawn up from bits and pieces from a search query. Until recently search engines could not surf dynamic pages and thus items on such sites were not listed in search engines but today some search engines, like Google and Yahoo, are able to do so. However it takes longer for them to index all the data especially when there are thousands of products and if you have set up products with the same titles and descriptions it can cause duplicate content issues and affect ranking.
Changing Dynamic Pages to HTMLDynamic pages can be turned into static pages on some shopping carts so the search engines will list the pages but here again you need to be concerned with duplicate content issues. See also: other technology blockers.
When I design a website with a shopping cart I always set up the website, listing each product on a separate page, then link those items to the cart, so the products have a better chance of ranking.
© July 5, 2001 updated 5-29-14
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