Conversant and a Common Problem with Dynamic Sites
Tim Perdue has written a short article on overcoming a common problem with dynamic web serving systems — in his case PHPBuilder. The problem is that dynamic, database driven sites tend to end up with a lot of stuff in the URL (usually question marks and ampersands) that prevent search engines from indexing them properly. Most search engines hit an ampersand or question mark in a URL and just move on without indexing. For most such content systems you have to find a workaround like Perdue has with PHPBuilder.
One of the things I like about Conversant is that I never run into this problem. The only area where I ever see question marks and ampersands is when running search queries, and it’s even relatively easy to set up a specific search query that could be indexed. For example, http://brian.carnell.com/recent_messages is a hard coded search query that returns every new message posted within the past two weeks and sorts them in reverse chronological order (most recent message first). And it does it with no ampersands or question marks and took about 10 minutes to configure, with most of that being my tampering with the HTML template for the returned results.
Just another example of how thoroughly the good folks at Macrobyte really have wrapped their heads around the issues and problems confronting people who want to manage complicated web sites but don’t have piles of dot.com cash just lying around to blow on excessively expensive content management systems or a technical support person to get something like PHPBuilder or Zope or whatever running and updated.
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