It startles me sometimes how many people out there are publishing very significant web sites, but don’t really understand what is going on with SEO. Worse, many major CMS systems make it impossible to build a search engine friendly web site.
The types of issues that people run into with these systems is always pretty much the same:
- Undecipherable URLs
- Poor crawlability / encoded links
- Create reams of duplicate content
- Limited or no control over titles
- Limited or no control over headers
- Limited or no control over metatags
By the time you are finished absorbing all these problems into a web site you are left with something that is completely useless.
Last Wednesday I spoke with Stephan Spencer of GravityStream product. It’s a great potential solution to all the above problems.
How it Works
GravityStream does not require you to make any significant changes to your existing CMS and web application environment. When a user goes to a web page on your site, GravityStream gets invoked. It then takes the existing page and tweaks the page according to a set of changes specified in its own CMS. This can include fixing the URL, making links crawlable, dealing with duplicate content, and changing titles, headers, and metatags.
It turns out that this is really easy to setup. Stephan told me that the time from SOW to completed implementation is typically thirty days. Makes it pretty easy to get off the ground with it.
The fact that it is minimally intrusive to the pre-existing environment is a critical factor. When dealing with large companies, it can be very difficult to get them to change their web environment. The minimally intrusive approach makes this a much easier pill to swallow.
Certain types of problems are endemic to large scale web sites, particularly those that use third party CMS and web application environments. These environments are designed to be flexible enough to handle a wide variety of different web site structures, and that’s a great thing. You just can’t afford to give up search engine traffic as a result of all this.
While we have not used GravityStream (yet), it appears to offer a nifty solution to these problems.