8 Replies Latest reply on Mar 12, 2012 12:50 PM by revdave

    Google and other SEO Ranking - Design 'includes' v Raw Text Issue

    revdave Level 1

      Hi all,

       

      I have an older site that is about 20 pages - where the designer has pasted duplicate content (the same for all pages) for the header nav links and also the footer text.

       

      I am under the impression that I can update all this where I create:

       

      1 - master header nav include

      2 - master footer include

       

      - and then use php includes on each page to greatly simply the process of design and future updates.

       

      Some SEO 'specialist' said that wasn't as good for Google ranking. To me the final output would be the same for Google seo ranking.

       

      Q: Will switching over to php 'includes' from duplicate text make any difference in Google and other SEO Ranking?

        • 1. Re: Google and other SEO Ranking - Design 'includes' v Raw Text Issue
          John Waller Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          revdave wrote:

           

          Some SEO 'specialist' said that wasn't as good for Google ranking. To me the final output would be the same for Google seo ranking.

           

          Same here.

           

          Includes have no bearing on SEO that I'm aware of.

           

          Can you ask the SEO specialist why he/she is giving the advice they're giving? I'd be genuinely interested to know.

          • 2. Re: Google and other SEO Ranking - Design 'includes' v Raw Text Issue
            bregent Most Valuable Participant

            Google, or any other user agent, has no way of telling if the content is originating from an included file - they can only see client code, not server side code. So if that is really what the SEO expert is saying, they are out to lunch.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Google and other SEO Ranking - Design 'includes' v Raw Text Issue
              adninjastrator Level 4

              Besides the other considerations posted, keep in mind that switching the page URL from "something.html" to "something_new.php" will mean that all the old Search engine listings will result in "file not found" unless to create redirects and that all the new .php pages will have to start their own journey from the bottom of the Search Engine lists back up to the top.

              So while there may/may not be some good/bad reason for doing this, I really doubt that the content of your "Home" or "About Us" nav buttons will really make much difference in SEO of your site.

              Put the content in the content sections and optimize that first...

              My experience with SEO experts is that we are often advised on these minutia when we really haven't optimized what's really important first, the main content area, inbound links, etc.

              Sort of like "Strain at a Gnat and Swallow a Camel".

              Best wishes,

              Adninjastrator

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Google and other SEO Ranking - Design 'includes' v Raw Text Issue
                Rob Hecker2 Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Let's make this absolutely clear: The SEO "specialist" is completely wrong.

                 

                As Bregent pointed out, Google can't tell if the content is embedded in the page or comes from an include file.

                 

                Adninjastrator makes a good point that changing the page extensions from html to php could affect your SEO ranking, but this can be easily managed through redirects (which he also points out). The best way to do this is to use a htaccess file for the redirects, with a 301 redirect specification.

                 

                There is lots of bad SEO advice out there. There are also SEO experts who use "black hat" methods that try to cheat Google. If you care about your site ranking, you probably need to learn the basics of SEO yourself, and a good place to start is at GOOGLE WEBMASTER CENTRAL, http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters?hl=en

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Google and other SEO Ranking - Design 'includes' v Raw Text Issue
                  revdave Level 1

                  Thanks for all the help everybody...

                   

                  Adninjastrator siad...

                   

                  ... switching the page URL from "something.html" to "something_new.php" will mean that all the old Search engine listings will result in "file not found" unless to create redirects....

                   

                   

                  does that also happen if JUST the suffix changes like:

                   

                  "something1.html" to "something1.php" ???

                   

                   

                  And to be fair - I went back to the actual statement the seo guy said - which I seemed to misinterpret somewhat ... his reasons for not using php was more what Adninjastrator said - that changing the html file extension can mess up google (he did not mention includes)... so I guess he was making good comments......

                  • 6. Re: Google and other SEO Ranking - Design 'includes' v Raw Text Issue
                    adninjastrator Level 4

                    If you change the page URL... it then becomes a different page and will be indexed as such. So yes,

                    "something1.html" to "something1.php"

                    are two completely different URLs.

                    If you had a straight HTML page and then start to use includes, then you'll need to change the file extension of the page to PHP... which would in effect be changing the URL.

                    Best wishes,

                    Adninjastrator

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Google and other SEO Ranking - Design 'includes' v Raw Text Issue
                      revdave Level 1

                      Thanks Adninjastrator for the clarification!

                      • 8. Re: Google and other SEO Ranking - Design 'includes' v Raw Text Issue
                        revdave Level 1

                        Hi Rob,

                         

                        you mentioned as did others...

                         

                        Adninjastrator makes a good point that changing the page extensions from html to php could affect your SEO ranking, but this can be easily managed through redirects (which he also points out). The best way to do this is to use a htaccess file for the redirects, with a 301 redirect specification.

                         

                         

                        Q: As far as google rankings... if I set up the "proper" 301 redirect specification in the root of the dir. in the htaccess file... can we say that the google rankings *will* be preserved. (is this in theory or in practice)?