Q and A: Do search engines index Server Side Includes?

QuestionHi Kalena…

I have a question regarding Server Side Includes. Do search engines index them? The navigation menus in my company’s website are SSI files, meaning that their content is not visible in the main index.htm file. Do you reckon search engines ignore the content of the navigation menus in my case?


Hi Marco

For my readers that aren’t familiar with Server Side Includes, they are a way to tell the server to insert something into a web page before it is sent to the viewer. What is inserted may be the content of a plain text file or it may be the output generated by another program running on the server such as the processing of a form return using a PERL script.

I don’t use SSI much but I was pretty sure the code generated by the SSI would be indexed. To be sure, I asked my SEO homies on Twitter to confirm this and they said:

“They are normally fine, spiders just see the html thats outputted” (thanks Patrick)

“So long as they are generating HTML I can’t see why they would not be indexed” (thanks Dave)

So just to confirm – YES – search engines will index the HTML generated by your Server Side Includes.

Spread the joy!