Most of the software publishers who did not think of search engine optimisation (SEO) while developing their content management systems (CMS) do not do really well today. On the other hand the open source CMS’es actually drove the SEO enhancements development. Open source code contributors, the users of those CMS’es understood that with no SEO they will not have traffic from Google, and that is something one finds hard to live with when marketing any web site!
WordPress is probably the best example with its core code so easy to grasp, and by being a platform where extensions can be created easiest. To change the functionality you just make a piece of code called a plugin that you just attach to WordPress core functionality by placing your plugin files in the Plugins directory in WordPress. The look and feel you change with the same ease by just applying the new WordPress Theme. No wonder it is today the most popular blogging software used. It also got converted by the plugins to the corporate web sites, but also very highly interactive sites, web shops, travel sites, and pretty much anything one can imagine.
So what differentiates a good CMS from a bed one from the SEO perspective?
How your content, your text copy is served to the search engines is what makes all the difference. Any standalone chunk of text that is published on your page ends up on what we call a page (static or dynamic), blog post, or anything else is a unit of content. On a job site it is a job description, on eBay it is the info about the product being auctioned. Each of those units have its page, it’s distinct web address. Where good CMSes go further then just having that unit of content displayed on its own page is that they can make additional pages that use parts of those original units of different pages. This results in more pages then units of texts. This results in more possible search results with your site ranked for more keywords. The end result is that the SEO that has good SEO drives more traffic from Google. If you put the same content in the two different CMSes and one has 100 times more pages, and it manages to saturate Google search results pages with all its various pages, you get a far more traffic from a good CMS with exactly the same content (investment!) supplied.
The amount of pages that are either created by some auto tagging feature or by manual categorisation is just defining just one aspect of the SEO friendly CMS. The other features are page loading speed, navigation and internal links in general, the way your HTML response adheres to the W3C standards, your XML sitemap configuration, the RSS feed, ease of social bookmarking and social networking sites integration and so on. The list is actually getting longer each year. It is quite likely that the best CMS today will be quite mediocre in 2 years. The same is true if you look two years in the past and compare what was best then to what we use today. A big, big difference from the SEO perspective.
Content is King