Search Engine Bot Detection
So after I first noticed a large build up of strange session Urls in Google searches for my domain I've then done a little bit of research into the issue and discovered it was .NET not detecting that the search engine spider was Mozilla/5.0 compliant and inserting some rubbish session id into the url.
It's been nearly a week since my changes to correct this and there's already a small indication of the 'healing' process. The pages are not out of the index yet, (and yes I do know that I 'could' remove them manually) but there are a lot of urls, and I'm in no rush.
Note on Webparts
Another change I have made this week was completing stripping webparts out of my template. Now even though I think webparts are extremely cool...they render HTML Soup. So I'd probably recommend that if you have a site where you are trying to get it to rank via the content, don't use webparts. If its an admin section / personalisation portal / intranet site or any other scenario when content ranking is not important, then by all means, feel the
Apart from dropping 20k from my page here's another unexpected result:
Yey I pass validation on W3C!!
Well I think viewstate is fantastic, its a set-and-forget automagic keep-state for all things on your form. Only problem is it renders before the content. This is a bad thing because search phrases gain more significance the closer they are to the top of the document, so the idea is to keep the soup at the bottom. A bit of Googling shows there are various methods that have been implemented to move it to the bottom. The method I kind of agreed with (although I've lost the link d'oh) was where a basepage class simple overrides handling the viewstate and uses the LosFormatter to store it in the session. Now I only half agree with this, I like the idea of overriding the handling of the viewstate but not putting it in the session. I simply used this but added my own HiddenControl (i.e. __VIEWSTATE_SEO) to the bottom of the form on pre-render, easy.
New Blog Category
In respect of all these new things that appear to be common SEO problems I have created to new category for SEO.NET (Search Engine Optimisation for .NET) blog posts. And in addition to this I will be trying to starting a small toolkit of classes and resources that should be able to be applied to any ASP.NET 2.0 application to make it more SEO friendly.