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09-18-2004, 08:40 AM #1
- Join Date
- Dec 2003
Getting Noticed with Content on Demand
Since I updated my site to use a database I have seen a noticeable increase in the number of visitors to my site. I'm not quite sure if this is purely because I made changes to the way that the site works. Actually, it probably has more to do with the fact that I gave the search engine robots a few more links to play with.
You see, not only did I make changes to the way the pages are generated, but I also expanded the number of pages at the site. Ok, so I added a few new articles... but that wasn't what was drawing in the visitors. Without realising it, I had tapped into product pages and resources of alternative information I'd forgotten I had access to.
All I had to do was link to them!
The best thing about web services is that you can keep your site updated without having to do anything more than implement a script that utilises them. There are a growing number of web services on offer, but the most visable has to be Amazon. Incidently, Amazon Web Services have had a noticable effect on my web traffic since I realised just how beneficial it could be.
Ever since I've had a book section on the site, I've always had an ASP page to retrieve and display the details of any book in the Amazon database. While it was originally designed to display books, I'd guess it would do a pretty decent job at promoting other product types with just a few more tweaks.
Pages on Demand
The ASP script merely provides a template in which anyone (human or search engine spider) can generate a page about the particular product they are interested in on demand. All they need to do is give the script a product number and it will build a page on demand. In effect, a site consisting of a single CGI application can become as big as the web service that it utilises.
As we all know, Amazon have a lot of products in their database. Simply by using their web services, my site could easily produce over 100,000 unique pages focusing on individual products. Each of these has the potential to be indexed by the search engine, yet I'm only utilising a small fraction of these "instant content" pages to draw visitors to my site.
I was first alerted to this untapped resource I had when I saw strange keywords appear in my site logs. They had nothing to do with web design or looking after a web site, and I know for sure that some of the words were not anything that I had used or written about. Yet for some reason people had been coming to my site looking for them, so they must have thought I had something of interest.
It turns out that the links they followed gave them a page showing them details of a book I would never have thought to even list on my site. These links were ranking relatively highly for these search phrases despite having nothing to do with the theme of my site. As it happens, the phrases and keywords used did appear in the titles, descriptions and reviews of the book so this helps to explain why they thought it was worth more of a look.
Give Visitors what they want...
The majority of people using the internet have a purpose for doing so. Some may rarely bother with web sites and use it to keep in touch with family and friends via email or instant messaging. Others may be researching a topic or product they are interested in, while some prefer to look for games, music or movies. Whatever it is they are doing, chances are they know what it is that they want and they have a good idea where to start... a search engine.
Keeping this in mind, it is worth utlising web services to create alternate content pages that can be spidered by the search engines. Even if the search engine spiders are the only ones that visit a particular dynamically generated page regularly, they will populate their database and will serve up your pages in the results.
The key thing to remember is that while the clickthroughs may be small, the visitors are likely to be more targeted as the keywords they were looking for are likely to be on the page the results link to. The larger the web service you use, the more pages "on demand" you can create, and the more pages the spiders have to look at, the more likely you are to show up for different search terms.
...more on Demand
With a little investment of your time, and access to right kind of web service, you can create a CGI application that will effectively maintain itself while increasing your visability in the search engines. Now that I use Amazon's web services to show related books alongside my content pages, the only thing that is left for me to do is to choose a good keyword for each page. Should a new book on PHP, databases or hosting become available they will appear on the appropriate pages without me having to lift a finger!
Needless to say, since making the discovery about my "on demand" pages I have reworked my books section to enable the discovery of many more dynamic product pages by the search engines. Now the only thing left to do is to wait and see what happens...
Author: Rosemarie Wise
09-30-2004, 03:29 PM #2
- Join Date
- Feb 2004
Good, solid article job here. Dynamic content is a driving force of Web pages these days for sure.The Web Hosting Show - The Voice of the Web Hosting World
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