Alan Perkins

Alan Perkins

1st May 2007

Dixons Technical Architecture

Reading the Sunday Times this weekend, there was an interesting article on Full HD TVs. The Sharp LC-37XD1E looked good value, so I checked Dixons. They didn't stock it, but they do stock the 42" model, the SHARP LC42XD1E Flat Panel TV.

Enough about TVs. See that great link I just gave Dixons? A deep link direct to a product page, labelled with the product text. That link should help Dixons to rank well for the SHARP LC42XD1E Flat Panel TV. Unfortunately for Dixons, it won't help as much as it could. Just look at the URL of the link:

http://www.dixons.co.uk/martprd/store/dix_page.jsp?
BV_SessionID=@@@@2111405657.1178042616@@@@&
BV_EngineID=ccckaddkkmmglhhcflgceggdhhmdgml.0&
page=Product&fm=null&sm=null&tm=null&sku=317042&
category_oid=-28723

That's a bad URL. It's encoded with Session IDs, Engine IDs and null parameters. That's not the sort of link a search engine would like to crawl, and even if a search engine did manage to crawl and index the content at that URL, it's unlikely that a searcher visiting the URL several weeks later, as a result of searching for a SHARP LC42XD1E Flat Panel TV, would see any content. The session ID would be long expired. This URL is produced by BroadVision, an e-commerce application used by Dixons.

Moral: expensive, high end Web applications don't necessarily produce marketable, search-friendly sites.

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