Indexing Troubles? Check Your Url’s

February 15, 2007

Battling the dynamic URL…….

Today database driven (dynamic sites) are very popular. Nowadays, most people selling products online use dynamic pages. Dynamic pages are created using programming languages like CGI, ASP, PHP, Perl and Cold Fusion. The easiest way to tell if your websites URL’s are dynamic is to look for the inclusion of question marks, equal signs, percentage signs, and ampersands etc.

(= ? & % + $ cgi-bin  .cgi )

Here is an example of a dynamically generated URL:

Database Driven Content is very Easy to Update

Website owners who have very large website or 1,000’s of products love database driven content as it is very easy to update information. If they used static webpages updating information would take a very long time.Using dynamic URL’s may be more efficient for the web developer but what about search engines? If you’re expecting to be found online, be ready for a rude awakening.

Search Engine’s Have Trouble Indexing Dynamic URL’s

For the most part search engines dislike Dynamic URL’s, the more dynamic characters in the URL string, the harder it is for a search engine spider to crawl.I am not saying that they WON’T be crawled (I have seen long dynamic URLs come up in search results) but your chances are slim. Best practice for search engine optimization has always been the shorter and the less complicated the URL is, the better. 

I Have Dynamic URL’s, Now What?

For the rest of you who have very long URL’s, before dumping your very expensive website to start over again I would recommend re-writing your URL’s. There are many tools available on the web for you to use. The most popular tool today is one from the webmaster-toolkit it’s called the “RewriteRuleGenerator” tool. This tool will take your dynamic URL and change the syntax. The end result is your URL will look static/short and be readable by the search engines.


Search Engine Optimize your Job Postings & Be Seen

February 14, 2007

When you think of search engine optimization you automatically think of getting your website to the top of the search engine results in order to increase online sales. But what about utilizing search to enhance your recruiting strategy? Companies spend thousands of dollars advertising open jobs on places like Monster and Career Builder but often neglect the importance of being found on the various search engines. There are generally two road blocks that companies have that prevent their job listings from being found in the major search engines. 

  1. Job postings are not written in a way that the everyday job seeker will find them.
  2. Some companies use applicant tracking systems, these systems are generally not designed with search in mind. Search engines are not able to get to the content within ATS systems, therefore, the job is not indexed and you miss out on the opportunity of being visible in major search engines.

Since more and more job applicants are using search engines like Yahoo and Google to find their next job opportunity. If your job posting isn’t visible you are missing out on many qualified applicants.  

How do I optimize my Job Listings to be found in search engines? 

It’s really not as difficult as one might think. Search engines care about keyword rich content. In this scenario your job posting is the content. Once you know a few simple techniques you’re that much closer to being found in search engines like MSN, Yahoo & Google.

1.      Use common words, instead of corporate language.
ou need to use words that people are actively using to search. Instead of posting for a Mechanical D/D Engineer Try “Mechanical Design and Drafting Engineer instead.

2.      Expand on your Acronyms
Don’t avoid using acronyms, but always remember to include their definition as well. DBA (Database Analyst) SOX (Sarbanes Oxley) PM (Project Manager) RN (Registered Nurse)

3. Use multiple job titles
One company may call a person an account manager, but another company may use account executive as the job title. Using multiple job titles will give you a better opportunity to be found in the search results.

4. Use better job headers
instead of using fluff like “fantastic marketing opportunity” in your jobs header, incorporate keywords instead. “Product Marketing Opportunity” would be a better choice here.

What about my Applicant Tracking System? 

If you company uses an ATS system your more then likely going to need to seek out the Pro’s to help you. Applicant tracking systems were not designed with search engines in mind. The job postings listed within them are invisible to the search engines as the ATS systems often use frames, Pop-ups or extremely long URL strings that cannot be indexed.  There are companies that offer career site optimization services.  HotGigs, Jobs2Web Service extracts and reconfigures your company’s job content so it is accessible to the major search engines. Once a candidate finds your job posting they are directed back to your ATS system. Jobster offers a similar program although I am not sure how it works. 

The price of filling open positions is getting out of control, if you’re only online source for job candidates are the job boards, you are wasting money and missing out on prospects, so why not lower your cost per hire and start utilizing the benefits of search?