Search Engine Tricks

  Homes arrow Search Engine Tricks arrow SEO 101 : Get Organized - Adopt A Naming Conv...
 Webmaster Tools
Base64 Encoding 
Browser Settings 
CSS Coder 
CSS Navigation Menu 
Datetime Converter 
DHTML Tooltip 
Dig Utility 
DNS Utility 
Dropdown Menu 
Fetch Content 
Fetch Header 
Floating Layer 
htaccess Generator 
HTML Encoder 
HTML Entities 
IP Convert 
Meta Tags 
Password Encryption
Password Strength
Pattern Extractor 
Ping Utility 
Pop-Up Window 
Regex Extractor 
Regex Match 
Scrollbar Color 
Source Viewer 
Syntax Highlighting 
URL Encoding 
Web Safe Colors 
Forums Sitemap 
Weekly Newsletter
Developer Updates  
Free Website Content 
 RSS  Articles
 RSS  Forums
 RSS  All Feeds
Write For Us 
Contact Us 
Site Map 
Privacy Policy 
  >>> SIGN UP!  
  Lost Password? 

SEO 101 : Get Organized - Adopt A Naming Convention
By: Developer Shed
  • Search For More Articles!
  • Disclaimer
  • Author Terms
  • Rating: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars / 4

    Table of Contents:

    Rate this Article: Poor Best 
      Del.ici.ous Digg
      Blink Simpy
      Google Spurl
      Y! MyWeb Furl
    Email Me Similar Content When Posted
    Add Developer Shed Article Feed To Your Site
    Email Article To Friend
    Print Version Of Article
    PDF Version Of Article




    SEO 101: Get Organized - Adopt a Naming Convention
    by Matt Paolini

    SEO 101: Get Organized - Adopt a Naming Convention
    by Matt Paolini

    Building a successful SEO (Search Engine Optimization) campaign requires a lot of time and hard work. Search engines are constantly changing their algorithms and it's up to you to make the necessary adjustments to accommodate these changes. Keeping track of all of your optimized pages can be a daunting task. However, you can avoid unnecessary confusion by organizing your optimized pages in a streamlined fashion. Although not common practice, this is one of the most important steps in any successful SEO campaign.

    What do I mean by "organized?" Simply, that you should develop a clear plan on how your pages will be named and where they will be situated on your web site. You need to be able to easily identify and track what pages have been indexed by what engine and what pages need to be updated. One way to achieve this is to adopt a "naming convention".

    Example 1:

    Your company web site sells widgets. You have a list of 5 of your most important keywords and you've optimized these keywords for 4 search engines. That's a total of 20 optimized pages. You have a robots.txt file set up to prevent search engine 'A' from indexing pages that are intended for search engine 'B' and so on.

    Keyword Page Name Engine

    widgets widgets.htm Google
    blue widgets bluewidgets.htm Google
    red widgets redwidgets.htm Google
    black widgets blackwidgets.htm Google
    purple widgets purplewidgets.htm Google
    widgets widgets2.htm MSN
    blue widgets bluewidgets2.htm MSN
    red widgets redwidgets2.htm MSN
    black widgets blackwidgets2.htm MSN
    purple widgets purplewidgets2.htm MSN
    widgets widgets3.htm AltaVista
    blue widgets bluewidgets3.htm AltaVista
    red widgets redwidgets3.htm AltaVista
    black widgets blackwidgets3.htm AltaVista
    purple widgets purplewidgets3.htm AltaVista
    widgets widgets4.htm Hotbot
    blue widgets bluewidgets4.htm Hotbot
    red widgets redwidgets4.htm Hotbot
    black widgets blackwidgets4.htm Hotbot
    purple widgets purplewidgets4.htm Hotbot

    Let's examine the drawbacks to this naming convention:

    1. The words in your page names are not very distinct. This is important because a search engine cannot determine if bluewidgets.htm is made up of two distinct words "blue" and "widgets." You need to find a way to separate these keywords in the page name or you will not get credit for the keyword in the file name.
    2. Your page names are not easily identifiable. When you run a Reporter mission, you will see your pages indexed with the number appended to the keyword phrase in the file name. At first glance, this doesn't tell you the engine for which the page is optimized. You need to be as descriptive as possible.
    3. Using a robot.txt file can diminish your exposure throughout all of the search engines. I explain this in the next section.

    Now, let's take a look how we can modify our page names in order to get credit for the keywords, and allow you to easily identify them in the corresponding search engine while gaining maximum exposure.

    Example 2

    Below, you'll see an example of how I have added hyphens to separate keywords in the page name. Also, I've appended an engine indicator to the file name, so it will be easy to distinguish what page is optimized for which engine.

    Keyword Page Name Engine

    widgets widgets.htm Google
    blue widgets blue-widgets-gg.htm Google
    red widgets red-widgets-gg.htm Google
    black widgets black-widgets-gg.htm Google
    purple widgets purple-widgets-gg.htm Google
    widgets widgets-ms.htm MSN
    blue widgets blue-widgets-ms.htm MSN
    red widgets red-widgets-ms.htm MSN
    black widgets black-widgets-ms.htm MSN
    purple widgets purple-widgets-ms.htm MSN
    widgets widgets-av.htm AltaVista
    blue widgets blue-widgets-av.htm AltaVista
    red widgets red-widgets-av.htm AltaVista
    black widgets black-widgets-av.htm AltaVista
    purple widgets purple-widgets-av.htm AltaVista
    widgets widgets-hb.htm Hotbot
    blue widgets blue-widgets-hb.htm Hotbot
    red widgets red-widgets-hb.htm Hotbot
    black widgets black-widgets-hb.htm Hotbot
    purple widgets purple-widgets-hb.htm Hotbot

    I respectively use abbreviations such as "gg" for Google, "ms" for MSN, and so on. You don't have to use my abbreviations. However, make sure the naming convention that you implement is consistent. That's the most important thing.

    Tip: Please be careful when creating an "engine indicator." Do not spell out the entire engine name in your filename. For instance, avoid naming your page like this:


    Although it has not been proven, Google and other crawlers could potentially flag this page as a doorway page because it thinks you are creating it specifically to rank high on that engine.

    You might be thinking, "I've created a robot.txt file, so I don't have to worry about search engine 'A' indexing pages that are intended for search engine 'B.' Yes, that is correct. However, if you use a robot.txt file for this purpose, you could be cheating yourself from gaining maximum exposure across all of the search engines.

    If you do not use a robot.txt file, you will notice that search engine 'A' will index pages optimized for search engine 'B.' This is exactly what you want. In order to do this, you must be very careful because you do not want to have similar content that could be flagged as spam.

    It is completely possible to optimize several different pages that target the same keyword, and create content so unique that you will not be flagged for spam. As I mentioned, this will maximize your exposure across all of the search engines, while allowing you to increase the overall unique content of your site.

    I can't tell you how many times engine 'A' has picked up pages that I've optimized for engine 'B' and ranked the 'B' pages higher than those I specifically optimized for 'A.' So, if at all possible, only use a robot.txt file to protect your confidential content from being indexed.

    One final Tip: Try to avoid creating sub directories solely for the purpose of storing optimized pages for a specific search engine. Storing all of your optimized pages in your root directory gives you a better chance at higher rankings because most crawlers give more weight to pages found in the root directory. In this case, it is better to sacrifice the organization and shoot for the higher rankings.

    This article is copyrighted and has been reprinted with permission from Matt Paolini. Matt Paolini is a Webmaster/Tech Support Specialist for FirstPlace Software, the makers of WebPosition Gold. He's also an experienced freelance Search Engine Optimization Specialist and Cold Fusion/ASP.NET/SQL Server Developer/Designer. For more information on his SEO services, please visit or send him an email at

    Interested in reprinting the above article?

    When reprinting the above article, you must include the final credit paragraph which physically links to my Web site. If you'd like to rephrase the credit line or change the wording of the article for your audience, then I will try to accommodate you. I ask that you email me at with a copy of your proposed revisions for approval before reprinting it.

    We simply require two things:

    1. You must maintain the accuracy and general intent of the content.
    2. We need to obtain an appropriate credit and link in exchange for your use of the article.
    3. Please send me a courtesy copy of the published material or website address if published online.
    Thank you and we wish you the best of luck in your business!

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

    More Search Engine Tricks Articles
    More By Developer Shed



    - Time for Your Site`s SEO Tune-up?
    - The Basic Parts of an SEO Campaign
    - Dynamic Content Still Challenging for Search...
    - Google`s Panda Update at One Year Old
    - Why Links Don`t Count Instantly
    - Check Your Code for SEO Issues
    - To Be an SEO, Start With What You Know
    - Don`t Worry About Bad Inbound Links
    - Guard Your Google Places Listing
    - Overlooked SEO Tricks
    - A Simple Long Tail Keyword Strategy
    - Writing for the Long Tail
    - Choosing and Using Keywords
    - Seven More SEO Myths That Can Hurt Your Sit...
    - Google Tips and Tricks

    Developer Shed Affiliates


    © 2003-2019 by Developer Shed. All rights reserved. DS Cluster - Follow our Sitemap