What's broken in the Microsoft development stack?

Last week I was at SES San Jose in the “Working Collaboratively with Your IT Dept” session with panelists Greg, Matt, Chris, and Sage, where someone asked which platform they should use for maximum SEO benefit. The answer from the panel was a resounding “Nothing from Microsoft.” While I don’t entirely agree with this advice, I thought it would be a great catalyst for feedback from the community on what we can do to improve our development stack (Windows, IIS, ASP.Net, Silverlight) so they are optimized for SEO by default (also check out the presentation I did on (workarounds for common SEO issues on the MSFT Stack).

One of our many roles here in the Webmaster Center is to be a vocal advocate for webmasters inside Microsoft, not just the search team. In the eight months we’ve been together as a team, we’ve been in talks with most of these product teams to discuss issues and possible solutions. We’ve had a few fixes adopted, but these products have long development cycles and sometimes it takes a while to get features shipped. We’ll take your feedback directly to the product groups and work with them to come up with the best solutions. And then we’ll post more information on exactly what these changes are when they are closer to shipping.

So send us your feedback on what you think is broken within our stack.  Here are some thoughts to help get your creative juices flowing:

  • Bad default settings – What settings are poorly configured by default? What should the correct setting be (e.g., IIS using 302 redirects by default)?
  • Too hard – What is possible, but simply too hard to do? If this is done well on another platform, that would be helpful to know as well (e.g., rearchitecting the link structure on a site while not breaking the links of the old site).
  • Limited capabilities – Are their capabilities that we just don’t have, but would really make your lives easier as SEO-savvy web developers (e.g., need to have multiple URL entry points into silverlight application)?  
  • Bugs – What just doesn’t work right today (e.g., URL rewriting in ASP.Net using 302’s to redirect links)?

Please be as specific as you can, including version numbers and exact behavior. This will make it easier for us to reproduce and fix. Thanks!

–Nathan Buggia, Webmaster Center Team

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