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Search Engine Optimization: Which File Ending Is Better

Make It Easier For Search Engine Spiders To Index Your Site

Originally Published: January 4, 2005

Editor's Note: A free search engine spider map makes it easy for the search engine spiders to index all of the pages on your site.

Which file extension should you use for your web pages?

What's the official Google statement?

How can you make it easier for search engine spiders to index your site?

  1. Don't make search engines spiders have to think

    Search engine spiders are very simply software programs that follow links on web pages and that index the contents of web pages. If the file extension doesn't make it clear what type of web page the spider has to expect, it might not index it properly.

    If a text file starts with code that looks like PDF, a search engine spider might try to convert it to HTML although there is nothing to convert. Never make search engine spiders have to think. They might get it wrong.

  2. Don't use fancy HTML code

    As mentioned above, search engine spiders are very simple programs. If you hide the content of your web pages in fancy flash elements or JavaScript code, chances are that search engines cannot index it.

    Search engine spiders cannot execute JavaScript code. If the links to the other pages of your web site are hidden in JavaScript menus, search engines won't find it. Dynamically created pages can also cause problems.

  3. Follow the standards

    It really helps if you web site is compliant to the W3C standards. Search engine spiders are built on these standards. If your web site is compliant to these standards, search engine spiders can index it without problems. We've published an article [Why Valid Html Code Is Important To Your Web Site] about this topic some time ago.

  4. Tell search engines what your web site is all about

    If you want to be found for special search terms on search engines, you should make sure that your web pages are optimized for these search terms.

    Only web pages that are optimized for special search terms can have good rankings for them. Optimized pages make it much easier for search engine spiders to determine what your web site is all about.

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