[thelist] opinions please: links & are they a good thing?

Ben Henick persist1 at io.com
Thu Jan 16 08:39:01 CST 2003

On Thu, 16 Jan 2003, Rob Whitener wrote:

> I have a question, in the searchengineworld article
> (http://www.searchengineworld.com/misc/guide.htm), they say scripting
> languages hurt search engine performance.  Fair enough, but can this be
> avoided by housing script in a separate file?

In a word, yes.   (See [2] below.)

However, your question implies that the statement made in the cited
article was ambiguous.

I can think of several circumstances where the application of scripting
can mess with one's likelihood of being listed, much less ranking well.

1.  Search engines tend to be shy about listing pages that are obviously
    scripting-driven.   There are lots of work-arounds for this - Apache's
    mod_rewrite exists for just this circumstance; PHP allows a forward
    slash to be used in lieu of a question mark as a GET query marker
    (beyond which point the script can explode() the resulting string in
    order to retrieve content for serving); all sorts of magic can be done
    with ErrorDocs, as is the case with www.evolt.org...

2.  Verbose inline JavaScript will push content further down the page, in
    some cases harmng the measured relevance of the page's actual content.

3.  Poorly-designed JavaScript can obscure or make inaccessible site

Meanwhile... I have long since come to the conclusion that what helps
search engine rankings (at least on Google) above and beyond all other
techniques is thoughtful TITLE authoring.

Ben Henick                     "In the long run, men hit only what they aim
Web Author At-Large             at.  Therefore, though they should fail
http://www.io.com/persist1/     immediately, they had better aim high."
persist1 at io.com                 -- Henry David Thoreau

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