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Is this killing the onsite SEO?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by mandom, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. mandom

    mandom Regular Member

    May 4, 2010
    Likes Received:
    I am reviewing a friend's website for them and I've run into something I've not seen before. They're using php on their site and when you look at the site, the top of each page is unique, targeted content and the bottom of the page is a footer that is consistent across all of the pages. The footer contains a LOT of information (much more than the other page-specific content) and is broken into tabs with anchors to move around from subject to subject.

    What really threw me though is that for some reason, when you look at the source of the page, all of the content in the footer section appears at the top of the source code for every page and all of the page-specific unique content is at the bottom.

    Am I nuts in thinking that this is killing their onsite SEO? Basically when google would crawl their site, on every page 4/5 of the code would be the exact same footer info with the bottom 1/5 being unique. I would think that even if google did crawl each page all the way to the bottom by the time the bots get there they're just thinking that the site is full of page after page of dupe content.

    I think that by removing the actual content from the footer section and using it to create individual pages connected via links they'd lose the duplicate content issues and google would take more notice of the unique content on each page.

    However, before I make the recommendation that they basically redesign their whole site I thought I'd get some feedback from others.

    Thanks for your thoughts!
  2. scb335

    scb335 BANNED BANNED

    Mar 5, 2008
    Likes Received:
    It's my opinion (and only an opinion based on my own experience) that yes, that is going to crush their on-site SEO and create a heavy dup-content issue with Google.

    From what I've seen, even a long sidebar (or menu list) that is the same across all of a site's pages can have that negative effect, so I would say it's safe to assume that a ton of footer content which is the same on every page will too.

    I have an ecommerce site that in the past has always done great in Yahoo and MSN but I could never get any love from Google for it. The site had a very long sidebar menu list.

    About a year ago I decided to switch the sidebar menu links from HTML to a javascript, and within a few weeks I noticed huge gains in Google for the site. So for me that basically confirmed that everything, even your template/theme code is affecting your on-site SEO with Google, and anything that can be removed from the source via javascript/media should be. Typically, if I have footer text that's going to be the same on every page, I'll make it an image instead of plain text just to remove all that text from my page source.

    A word of warning though, if you make your navigation system javascript or flash or whatever other than HTML, make sure you have a good and up to date sitemap that's linked to from your homepage, otherwise the search engines may lose your inner pages.

    Hope that helps.