Top Search Engine Ranking Using Content Management Systems

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Copyright 2004 Mufad P

What Is A CMS?

A Content Management System (CMS) allows you to add, edit or delete content to your website without having to create and format the pages manually. All the pages get generated on the fly, the CMS application picks the template, adds the headers and footers, generates the menus and blocks for your page and then automatically renders the page.

The main reason people hesitate to use CMS is because they think a CMS site will not perform well with search engines. But when used properly, CMS can actually help with scoring points with the search engines. This article shows you how.

We all know that content is king and that the primary function of today’s Internet is to deliver content to those that are seeking it. CMS allows you to easily manage multiple pages on your site, categorized into appropriate topics and categories.

While it is a fact that most free CMS’s available were not designed with the search engine spider in mind, CMS applications are flexible and can be tweaked to help you gain a top rankings with search engines.

How Do You Customize A CMS Application To Improve Search Engine Rankings?

First, there is the issue of dynamic URLs. Most CMS’s will generate URLs with parameters embedded into them. As an example, each article link on your site may look like this:

http://yoursite.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News
&file=article&sid=35&SESSIONID=200dbf5df81843102bc2ba2560207841

Not only does it look ugly, the search engines probably won’t spider it. It’s is best to cast that URL, into something like this:

http://yoursite.com/article35.html

This can be achieved by making use of the web server module called mod-rewrite
To use this, you’ll need to add a rule to your .htaccess file using regular expressions to convert the URL. The following 2 lines added to your .htaccess file (in your document root) will achieve the URL conversion for the example above.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^article([1-9][0-9]*).* modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=$1

For more details on mod-rewrite, have a look at http://powersitesystem.com/article1.html

The session id is usually not necessary in the URL. Most users have cookies enabled so CMS can store the session id using cookies. URL rewriting for session maintenance can and should be turned off in your web server settings.

Which CMS Application Do You Use?

For my purposes, the PostNuke Open Source Content Management System works well. But there are many CMS applications available that are open source and are easy to install. To access a review of the various CMS’s available see http://biz-whiz.com/article225.html - For a hands-free CMS setup with training to help build a search engine friendly website see http://powersitesystem.com

Site Navigation

Generally SEO’s feel that having the navigation links at the bottom or on the right side of your page allow you to position your optimized content towards the beginning of your html page, but users are accustomed to naturally look for a navigation menu towards the top left of the page. Attention to the anchor text used in the navigation links is important because these links will appear on all the pages of your site.

Islands of Related Content

When you add content to your CMS, you would classify it into a topic. A CMS like PostNuke, allows you to choose a category and a topic for each article that you add. The CMS will automatically create links in the chosen category page and topics page. If you define your topics and your categories properly, you can create a brilliant linking strategy.

Conclusion

Setting up a CMS managed website that can achieve good search engine rankings is possible if you take care of the key factors as outlined above. For proof that a properly customized CMS application can help you to gain top search engine rankings see the links in the signature below.

This article May be Reproduced provided the signature is included and links are left intact.


Mufad has successfully setup a high ranking work at home community that ranks on top for “work at home” and “home business” at http://biz-whiz.com using CMS. He provides his clients with a template driven website setup using a search engine friendly CMS at http://powersitesystem.com


Publication Date: Tuesday 17th August, 2004
Author: Mufad Pac View profile

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