The amount of misinformation out there on the web is almost enough to make a person crazy. I ran across a few statements today that were so baldly wrong that I have to correct them here.
A provider of real estate web sites wrote:
“We do not use a system that allows you to make your own major content and format changes through your web browser (except you can add, edit, and delete your own listings and links) because that type of system requires a setup that does not allow search engines to index those pages.”
Malarkey! It is entirely possible to provide a system that permits the site owner to edit their site without erecting a barrier to search engine crawlability. The above statement really means that the site provider who wrote those words doesn’t know how to develop such a system.
A so-called “expert” for a major real estate portal wrote:
“Your site will never place well in search engines for competitive keywords (those actually used by searchers) if you are using a provider whose system allows you to make your own changes to your site through a web based administration area.
This is because the areas that you can access – search engines can’t.”
At the risk of repeating myself: Malarkey! Any website developer who knows a little bit about how search engines work, and a little bit about back-end server-side programming, should be perfectly capable of developing such a system. The search engines don’t need to access the admin area that the site owner uses to edit the site; the search engines only need to be able to access the public-facing pages. It takes the right knowledge and expertise to set the site up properly to make it easily crawlable by the search engines, but it’s not only possible, it’s common. Tropical Web Works has developed such sites for many clients.
This same “expert” wrote:
“All web site providers will tell you that their sites are designed to place well in search engines. What do they mean?
What they are saying is that their web sites have Meta Tags (see #4 above).”
My, what a sweeping statement in which this self-anointed expert claims to know exactly what “all web site providers” mean by something. Granted, meta tags (particularly the keyword meta tag) are nearly worthless — and if a web site provider claims that his sites will do well in search engines because it has meta tags, you should run, not walk, away as fast as you can. But it is definitely not the case that “all web site providers” make that claim. (Straw-man arguments are so easy to knock down.)
Another major web site provider wrote:
“To place well for a long list of keywords requires the production of many doorway pages.”
Malarkey! (There seems to be an echo developing in here.) Placing well for a long list of keywords is the natural result of developing a web site with many pages of on-topic quality content. No doorway pages are needed (nor are they beneficial). Write lots of good content for your site, make sure the site is structured logically and is crawlable by the search engines, and get some inbound links to some of those pages of content, and your site is very likely to rank well for a long list of keywords.
There is lots more bad information out there. Let me know when you run across these kinds of things, and we’ll address them here.