Volume 9, Number 28 -- July 21, 2009

Zobrist Offers Search-Friendly URLs for WebSphere Commerce

Published: July 21, 2009

by Alex Woodie

Zobrist Consulting, an expert in IBM WebSphere implementations on i OS and other platforms, recently announced a new service to make URLs from dynamically created Web pages more friendly to search engines.

If you're serious about selling stuff over the Web, chances are good you're dynamically creating your Web pages against a central product database. After all, it's practically a requirement for e-commerce Web sites with any kind of scalability.

But one of the drawbacks of the dynamic approach is the resulting URL that accompanies dynamically generated pages. Instead of URLs that are understandable and resemble the English language (such as IT Jungle's Web pages), URLs with dynamically created Web pages contain characters like "%," "?," and "#" that make no sense to humans.

But these characters also pose a difficulty for search spiders that crawl the Internet for search engines such as Google and Yahoo. When these spiders encounter a Web site with dynamically created Web pages, they stop crawling the site and give it a very low score in terms of content relevancy, according to Zobrist Consulting. As a result, your Web site's ranking drops, making it more unlikely that potential customer will find your Web site through a search engine.

Now, Zobrist is offering to help make URLs from dynamically created Web sites more search friendly through a new services engagement. The company claims that, through substitution rules, it can remove special characters and put English-like URLs in their place, allowing the Web site to be crawled by spiders and therefore get a better page ranking.

The offering is only valid with IBM WebSphere Commerce version 5.6 and above, and ranges in cost from about $10,000 to about $15,000, depending on the complexity of dynamic URLs. Zobrist is familiar with all WebSphere-supported platforms, including i OS, AIX, Linux, and Windows.

In addition to creating search friendly URLs, Zobrist will generate HTML and XML sitemaps, and also generate page tags, such as title and headings, that make the overall Web site more navigable--to humans and spiders alike. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.zobristinc.com.

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Editor: Alex Woodie
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