January 3, 2007
Hi Jill Ė
I really enjoy reading your newsletters and would appreciate your advice on launching a new web site.
Our web site has been around for many years and we are switching over to a content management system coded in JSP, but with extensions ending in .do as opposed to what we currently have, .asp.
We have hundreds of pages dynamically code-driven from our database in .asp and Iím worried that when we switch over to the .do extension we will lose placement in the search engines. We will be redirecting the .asp pages to the appropriate .do page but will it affect our long-term rankings of those .asp pages that live throughout the SEís if we 301-redirect? Iím just not sure how well the search engines pick up the .do extension. Are there steps to ensure better success through this transition?
Thanks so much. Keep up the great work!
The .do extension in and of itself shouldnít be a problem, as the search engines index any and all extensions just fine. But the changing of all the site URLs from .asp to .do will definitely cause you some temporary pain in the search engines, even with the 301-redirects. Unfortunately, it can often take a few months for the search engines to remove all your old URLs and index the new ones. And even once they do, your new URLs may or may not be given the same ďtrustedĒ weight as the old ones, simply by the fact that they are new.
Youíre doing all you can do by putting up the 301-permanent redirects, but do expect some loss of traffic during the transition and possibly for a few months following it. It might help to add a Google Sitemap when you go live with the new site, but make sure the site is squeaky-clean of search engine spam if you do this.
Iíd recommend not making the changes during your busy season, if you have one (and if you can help it).