Best Language or Platform for organic SEO?
August 7, 2016 8:29 AM   Subscribe

tl;dr - Which platform or language will provide organic SEO and allow me to create modern and beautiful websites? By "organic" I mean, I don't want to do SEO work after the site is built. I want to follow best practices while creating the URLs, tags, product description content, layout, etc.

A little background: As often as organic SEO techniques evolve, I find it difficult to figure out which language or platform is best for helping Google crawl a website. I've worked in the tech side of IT for many years, but recently I've been tinkering with web design and I've enjoyed it. I'm helping a friend improve her search engine rankings, so I've read quite a lot on SEO. I'm not interested in cheating, so I'm trying to keep it as organic as possible.

My question:
Looking forward a little, maybe the next 5 years, which language or platform should I focus on learning? I understand that there are several platforms that can do beautiful things but Google has a hard time crawling the site, so you have to do a lot of SEO work. Which lang/platform will organically provide the best environment for search engine crawling?

This may be a separate question and may require some sacrifice of the points I've mentioned above but while I respect the sentiment, I have no personal interest in "staying pure" or "doing it the old fashioned way." So I'm not opposed to relying on a platform that has the features needed to create a forward thinking site with modern automation.

Based on my research, I think HTLM5 is what I should be working with. What do you think?
posted by tellUwut to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Wordpress + YOAST SEO seems to work pretty well. It's stayed current with changes over the years, and I would think that it will continue to do so as things change in the future.

Also, it's my understanding that good organic keyword performance is "language" independent, and, instead, content and markup dependant.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:22 AM on August 7, 2016 [4 favorites]

Best answer: The easiest "language" for google to crawl is plain old HTML (ie HTML5). Explained in other words, if your browser has to do any processing to create or output your content - ie though javascript (or in days of old, Flash), google won't see the content, and hence you will get no SEO. (Caveat... google is slowly getting better with javascript, but it's still unreliable and support should not be counted on if SEO is a priority for you).

So, in terms of focus, you want a language that does the processing server side and outputs HTML. There are a ton of these - php, python, ruby, node, etc etc - pick your poison. Or you can manually craft your HTML, but that's tiresome and will quickly become unmanageable for a site of any size.

The above mentioned Wordpress with Yoast is a perfect example - it uses php on the server, and produces properly annotated HTML according to today's SEO guidelines.
posted by cgg at 9:31 AM on August 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

cgg has it. The good news is that SEO is so critical to practically any web property that if it's a well-known platform or content manager, the problem is going to be addressable. Or if not, the technology is going to be going downhill fast. One of the reasons flash has gone away on modern websites.

I'll nth Wordpress + Yoast as a good solution. As you play around with the content or train those who are entering it, note all the areas to put in content like tags and make sure that's getting done. A lot of times when people talk about trying to fix SEO after the fact, this is the kind of tedious work that has to be redone.
posted by randomkeystrike at 7:09 PM on August 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm no power-user, but glad to see my own choice of Wordpress + Yoast wasn't a bad one. Another vote for that combo.
posted by quinndexter at 2:35 AM on August 8, 2016

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