SEO 2.0 for Web 2.0 Sites the Microsoft Way: Just Replace Frames With AJAX?
SEO 2.0 is not my invention neither did I coin the term. Many used it before and many do without having read this blog. While my SEO 2.0 definition is still a little fuzzy it takes time to grasp the major shift that is gong on all around us. So I am always interested in what others say. I search from times to times for the term SEO 2.0 myself to find out how others define it. In most cases I like what I read and see. In other cases I am quite disappointed though.
The upcoming SMX West in Santa Clara features a panel called "SEO 2.0 For Web 2.0 Sites".
Although I am delighted by any attempts to make SEO 2.0 known I am deeply disappointed by the definition of SEO 2.0 given here:
Let's say SEO 1.0 is about ensuring that 1990s-era web design techniques such as tables and frames are adjusted to minimize search engine ranking issues. Well, now the Web 2.0 design world is firmly upon us, bringing with it CSS, AJAX and other dynamic design techniques that can give search engines fits. SEO 2.0 is all about ensuring that Web 2.0 sites are as search engine friendly as Web 1.0 sites.
It sounds like jumping out from the frying pan into the fire. Taking obsolete and search engine "hostile" (or at least not "friendly") web development techniques and swapping them with new, even worse one.
Just a week ago I mused about writing an article on SEO for Web 2.0 applications. I abandoned the endeavour because basically SEO for AJAX web based software often does not make sense at all, you don't want to appear your office documents on the Net in most cases or if it does it's similar to Flash: You must mimic a real web page to optimize it for search engines.
Taking a look at the speakers you notice that in one case it's understandable that they never heard of any other SEO 2.0 concept as one of the speakers is "Nathan Buggia, Lead Program Manager, Live Search Webmaster Central, Microsoft" who most probably does not read SEO blogs. Maybe he should google SEO 2.0. The Microsoft results are not that good BTW, this blog is not even in the top 10. In the case of the other two speakers I was a little more surprised but still they might have missed it for other reasons, one speaker is from Copenhagen in Denmark so he probably does not read English SEO blogs that much.
The third or based on her competence rather the first speaker is Shari Thurow, the acclaimed author of Search Engine Visibility one of the SEO books with both mass appeal due to the broad perspective as well as a high level of expertise. Her appearance on that panel makes me quite happy in the end as I do not expect her to proclaim that "SEO 2.0 is replacing frames with AJAX".
For those of you who want a quick overview of what is needed to optimize AJAX applications for search engines make sure to take advantage of these 6 best practices:
- Decide where your website ends and your application starts, as stated above, it does not make sense to make spiders crawl your Google Docs drafts, but the documents made public and archived instead
- Make sure you have a URL for each "page" you want to get spidered and indexed
- Load the basic contents containing the keywords at the beginning in a non-dynamic way
- Cache dynamic pages and serve them as static ones, you could even take snapshots of "pages" which contents change all the time and publish the snapshots
- Do not use AJAX for effects but for extra functionality that truly enhances the user experience
The moderation is done by two experts who are most probably familiar with a number of broader SEO 2.0 definitions which not only cover on site optimization: Rob Kerry aka evilgreemonkey who is also a Sphinn moderator and Stephan Spencer of Netconcepts one of the not only best designed SEO company websites but also more important SEO companies.
AJAX websites are in fact SEO -2.0 as you take at least two huge steps back.
The panel takes place on the second day of SMX West, at Wednesday, starting at 3:15pm. You have to scroll down a little to find it.
Will you participate in this panel? You might want to write down what you heard and what your impression was in a guest post on my SEO 2.0 blog.