ASP and SEO – Don’t Believe the Myths

shady_seo_guyBefore I wrote this original post (now over 4 years old), I went over to our faithful Google’s Keyword Planner (formerly Google Keyword Tool), and looked for keywords related to ASP and SEO. I found almost nothing, which furthers the purpose of this publication even more – don’t believe the myths out there, ASP.NET (or any other Web language) will not affect your page rank in an adverse way.

Skip to The ASP and SEO Web Crawler Myth Disproven

Let’s back up to the situation that provoked my investigation. My girlfriend and fellow web developer who codes in ASP, found herself in a tight spot. Her client hired a new SEO “consultant” who began to preach that the client’s website needed to be all in HTML and only in HTML.

My girlfriend didn’t believe the SEO consultant. She came to me for a second opinion just incase her knowledge and instincts failed her. When I heard this, I immediately thought foul. What a ridiculous notion to even bring up.

All web pages, at their core, are written in HTML (HyperText Markup Language). The other languages out there – javascript, PHP, ASP.NET – serve as additional tools to add in special features, databases, scripts, etc.

Oh good, well I think my company websites are safe then. Thanks for the info!

HubPages Author

The consultant argued that pages ending in .htm or .html would be indexed faster by Google and the other search engine web crawlers. He tried to convince me that the rate at which pages become indexed affect page rankings and search listings results. He convinced the client that if he did not switch at least the major landing pages on the site to these extensions then it would reduce all search engine traffic.

I never heard of such a thing. Right away I tested the client’s keywords. The client ranked on the first page of Google for every major local keyword phrase targeted by his web pages. All his pages existed in the Google indexed. Over the previous three months his site’s relative ranking increased 70%, a result of work done way before the new SEO consultant came on board.

Did I really need to bother checking? I knew the site was already written in HTML. Doh! The client did not require any databases, so the possible server-side lag did not come into play either. I also know how attentive a coder my girlfriend is, so I did not doubt her workmanship. She used optimized URL extensions for search engines as well. On top of that, I spoke with the SEO consultant and he could not provide any tangible evidence to back his claim.

Who could? Unless you work on Google’s algorithms, how can you be 100% sure? SEO experts as a community go through extensive trial and error to discover the methods that work.

The ASP and SEO Web Crawler Myth Disproven

1. Web developers use ASP.NET, PHP, and javascript all the time.

By now Google, Yahoo!, and Bing would know how to handle it.

2. Web crawlers focus on content, not code.

Crawlers scan for useful information for user queries typed into search engines. Content trumps style. SEO experts concentrate on <title> and <h1> tags because those areas of the copy emphasize the purpose of the page.

3. To code a website in pure HTML would throw the Internet back into the early 90’s.

Web development unable to use CSS, SSI, or other methods to implement standard layout format with ease throughout an entire website would be a nightmare. It would cost a fortune too. Google would not penalize a page because the developer did not want to edit all 66 pages every time they wished to update a link in the main navigation or change the header content.

4. No one else Online is talks about it.

I performed an extensive search on the Internet to find a credible source to back up the myth. Nothing substantial, nothing from prominent web designers or SEO consultants, nada!

5. What about database intensive, content exhaustive sites like MSNBC, CNN, article publication sites like HubPages, and blogs?

Almost all major websites use databases these days – a necessity of online business. If news sites, article sites, and blogs can pump out pages in languages like PHP, ASP.NET, and javascript and get their content listed on search engines the same day, what does that say about the need to write a page in pure HTML to do the same? Bogus.

I think its funny. This page doesn’t have an .htm extension, and yet when I Googled the query “.asp affect on seo” it came up number one on Google. I think the proof is in the pudding.

Auburn Wa Church

REAL Issues to Look Out for When Using ASP.NET

  • Strange file and directory names from database queries that leave it riddled with symbols like & and ?. Best to create file names and directories that include targeted keywords and phrases.
  • Buggy code that slows down how fast the page loads.
  • Cumbersome code that increases load time.

Follow good code standards and practices, make sure your code works, and keep your file sizes down. If you can’t, find someone who can and your website should be indexed just fine by search engines.

Let this be a lesson to stay away from SEO “specialists” out there that want to scare you into thinking your site is on a downward spiral to hell. The same experts that come up with ridiculous claims that lead to recommendations to waste your time, your money, and hurt your business.

The client mentioned paid to convert his entire website to pure HTML with all the complications that come with it. He later paid more to convert it back just to save his Online business.

For all those non techies out there, just know that if your web designer wants to write your website in ASP.NET or PHP, this will not hurt your business. You should welcome it because you will pave the way for numerous advantages that save you money and headaches in the long run.

If a SEO consultant ever tells you something that does not make sense, does not feel right, and your webmaster disagrees with it, I highly recommend you get a second opinion or conduct some research of your own.

One of the reasons I’m posting this is because just this evening I got a call from an e-marketer who tried to tell me that my pages were suffering because they are in classic ASP. I have a Volusion e-commerce site still in development, and he tried feeding me a line of crap suggesting just what you’ve written in your article. He even told me that he’d been working with the Volusion folks for more than 5 years. I wonder if the “Volusion Folks” know what he’s claiming about their Number 1 e-commerce solution in the world.

Needed to vent!!!!


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