FAQ's January 2009

Last year I wrote a FAQ blog, which is one of the more popular blogs of last year. Since then I have collated many other questions from visitors and clients, so once again rather than repeat myself every 2 minutes, here are a few of the more common questions

Q.Does Using PHP or ASP effect SEO?

A. Short answer .... NO. But I will explain why. Unlike what many people believe Search Engine Robot Programs (SERPs) are not effected by Server Side Coding. SSC's such as PHP, ASP, Python and ColdFusion (amongst others), are generally used in conjunction with databases such as MYSQL. Drawing data from these databases and forming it into a static webpage. And this is the key, the language used generates a static HTML webpage, which is what the user and the SERP will see. They do not see the complex structure behind it but rather the simple HTML it is delivered by the database. Although used all over the net an example of php and MYSQL databases working together is this website.

Q. What is the most commonly used search engine?

A. Without a doubt the most commonly used SE is Google, though MSN Live from time to time says it is. Google has statistics to show that is has more than 300 million searches per day! and has indexed over 3 billion pages, however I believe this figure is to small by at least 10%!

Q. Other companies claim they have a "special relationship" with a search engine, does your company?

A. No. And I can promise the others do not. Yes, from time to time search engines use companies for testing purposes, but there is never a real relationship which will effect search engine results in any way, shape or form. If a company ever claims this type of relationship, I advise you cease contact as A) they are lying and B) they probably use black hat tactics.

Q. What is sandboxing? and why is it used?

A. Sandboxing is a tool of search engines, outed by google in 2004. It's main purpose is simply to stop new "nothing" pages hitting the top ranks, i.e. before it has been fully indexed and ranked. This sandbox is normally only for a few weeks, just until enough pages are indexed to gain a full picture of the site. So why is it used? Well simply its used to remove the good from the bad, meaning ever page submitted or found has a rank and therefor the better and more reputable sites remain the top ranked.

Q. We have a password protected area, can it be indexed?

A. In short, not by an external SERP. This question is hard to answer fully. But in essence google will not search these "locked" areas, they will remain private. You can however set up your own search which will, an example is in a blog where you can lock the blog to members only which will have its own search robot.

If you have any further questions please feel free to ask them, using the comments below.