Are <Title> tags relevant for SEO on php pages where only the content changes?

Posted on 2011-05-02
Last Modified: 2013-12-08

This is my first attempt at SEO.

My website has a single page index.php which uses the "include" statement to bring in different page content from a mySQL db when links are clicked.  Example of a link which changes the page content would be: <a href="index.php?contentid=3">.

When a link is clicked the address only changes as follows:

I have been looking at SEO advice and it says to use a different and relevant page title for each page.  At the moment, because only the content is changing and not the page itself, the <title> tag always remains the same.

My question:

Is this advice to change the title with each page still relevant with the type of setup I am using?... that index.php page with differing parameters at the end where only the content is changing?

I hope this makes sense, any help would be greatly appreciated.
Question by:NeoMaya
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    Try reading this article:
    Scott explains very well the most important things for SEO. I work on all his sites weekly for years now and have seen his methods rank very high.
    LVL 12

    Accepted Solution

    NeoMaya -
    The most ideal situation (if it is possible), I would suggest creating better/more unique URLs for each of your pages and have those indexed separately.

    If you were able to setup for CMS or hosting system that way, the title tags being unique for each page would more easily affect the SEO of each page.

    If you are not able to change your page structure, I would still argue that having unique title tags for each page is important for you to implement to help with SEO.

    While not as big of a ranking factor for Google and Bing as before, the title tag is still important for SEO and the search engine ranking factors.

    Author Comment

    Hi both,

    Thank you for the replies.

    Freshcontent, I will change the URLs to make them more descriptive using text instead of numbers. (I decided to use numbers from a sql injection point of view, only allowing numeric values).  I was going to use XML to create a site map of my pages.  Is this sufficient for indexing separately?  Or are you suggesting that I have one physical file for each page instead of using the include statement?  

    Am I right in thinking that it will be fine to use php to dynamically change the <title> script as the content changes?  There is only one physical page (the file called index.php), but different content is brought in from mySQL db where I can also store the title info:  Just snippets of the relevant code below to show what I mean.

    	$myQuery = "SELECT pagename, theContent, metadesc FROM tblpagecontent WHERE id ='" .$myID. "'";		
    	$connector = new DbConnector();
    	$result = $connector->query($myQuery);
    	while ($row = $connector->fetchArray($result))
    		$pageName = $row['pagename'];
    		$pageContent = $row['theContent'];
    		$pageDescription = $row['metadesc'];
    		echo "<title>";
    		echo $pageName;
    		echo "</title>";

    Open in new window

    Sorry for all the extra questions!

    Dzynit, thank you for the link, there are so many articles out there but it is hard to know which ones are worth reading.

    LVL 12

    Expert Comment

    I would suggest from an SEO viewpoint that the best practice would be to have actual, separate URLs for each page, rather than having index.html with a series of contentID conditionals to grab the different pages on the fly.  That could be a large change in how you do/code things, so I know that might not be easily do-able.
    Yes - you should make sure that you have a Google and Bing webmaster account to look at how they are indexing your website, and you should submit an XML sitemap of your pages as described at  If you have an XML sitemap that lists each page, Google/Bing should find and crawl them well.

    Google may be able to figure out that those are different pages if you, but if you have a fair amount of unique content on those pages, it will be better to have separate pages from an SEO viewpoint.

    In terms of dynamically setting the title tags, that should be fine in either scenario of having the contentID conditional or having different page URLs for each content page, as long as it is a static string per page.

    Author Comment

    OK, thanks for the links and extra advice I will have a good read.  

    I am going to close this off now, as you already answered my original question, sorry to the delay and thanks for the help. :-)


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