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Changing Aspx File Extensions To Html Extensions Or ?
Posted 15 January 2009 - 01:36 PM
At this point, the basic facts of the existing site are:
--basically INVISIBLE in search engines, so the issue of possibly harming ranking positions due to file name changes is of no concern to me or client
--the site is one of many subdomains, though each subdomain is unique unto itself as far as services offered, content, etc.
--client is able to add their own content, metadata, etc via the built-in editor tool
My question then is -- the existing URL's look like this:
Home page: www.domainname.com/PageFactory.aspx?PageID=3759
Unique pages: www.domainname.com/Page32912.aspx and lowercase versions too: /page25769.aspx
PDF documents, appllications and the like available for online download have extensions like this: /AssetFactory.aspx?did=32275
I would think that it would be best if we could rename file extensions to keyword targeted/user friendly HTML (or PDF) extensions, which I believe is possible via utilization of 301 redirects, correct? And the subdomain really ought to be visible in each URL, as it would be best in my mind if the URL also shows the specific name of the service as opposed to not, but I will live with it if this is something not possible due to ASP filename structure.
If my thoughts here are correct and you experts feel that file name changes are worth the effort (only about 12 pages on the site right now so it is no big deal to do) then another big concern is helping the client deal with the IT guys.
They have been telling my client that the file name extensions cannot be changed -- that she is stuck with the autogenerated extensions and no offers to establish redirects for her have even been hinted at. Okay ...
But what makes me highly suspicious of the truth in this information (because I am not knowledgeable about ASP), is that the IT people also gave my client erroneous information about the inability for her to insert metadata onto each page via the editor tool and flatly told her she could NOT change the information in the <title> tags! She kept telling me "it isn't possible -- they told me so!"
Within 3 minutes of me being on the phone and helping her hunt around in the editor for the option to add in title, description and keyword meta tags, she found how to do it. It was not "impossible" to do as she has been lead to believe for a very long time.
So ... are we permanently stuck with the autogenerated files extensions? Or are they blowing more smoke up her you-know-whatie because it just means a little bit more work on their part to implement 301's.
Thank you in advance for your help.
Posted 15 January 2009 - 09:23 PM
2. The URLs you mentioned are not the problem either. They have only a single variable/value pair, which is well within the limits.
3. Keywording those files isn't going to gain you anything on the problem.
4. By the site being invisible do you mean the urls aren't getting indexed? Or they're getting indexed but not showing up in searches? What do you see when you conduct a site: type of search?
5. I'm not sure what you mean by the subdomain. You said it was a subdomain, but then you showed all www addresses. While the www part is a subdomain technically speaking, that's not normally what people mean when they start talking about subdomains.
In summary, nothing you've mentioned is going to have a bearing on pages getting indexed or ranking well. Save maybe the subdomain thing that might have other non-subdomain pages getting indexed and ranking if everything else is in order. So we're no closer to the cause of the problem, but your initial thoughts aren't going to fix anything.
Posted 16 January 2009 - 09:01 AM
Posted 16 January 2009 - 10:30 AM
Yes, I know that the existing URL's if left as is will have NO bearing upon indexing or SERP rankings. I am looking at this more from a user-friendliness issue. Clearly named files to just make it a bit easier for the visitor in a number of ways.
Yes you're right and I'm correct, too -- what I showed you is exactly the way this "subdomain's" URLs appear -- exactly. NO domainname.com/subdomain/filename
So, since the entire website URls are like this for all services (which really are unique subdomains) ... I asked the question because if we're trying to change the URL's we might as well ask the IT guys for all changes desired at one time.
No I said invisible because they don't have any rankings to even think about -- their rankings stink! So I won't be able to inflict any more damage that is any worse than what they already have going against them right now if I make major changes/improvements across the board! There's only one way to go in their rankings, and that is UP! lol
I have tried to research information on dealing with ASP databases a far as filename extensions and such (yes--read a couple of good articles by Jill too). I came here asking to see if there is anything that I ought to be made aware of so I don't look like a blundering idiot if I propose we start with a clean slate and name each URL as we build out each new page that will be keyword targeted, etc. (The client is hoping for more user-friendly and specific named URL's if possible, too.)
I'm just hoping to get a gem or two of insight from you kind people here to help me better address (and understand) the situation.
Am I explaining things better now? I hope so. Thanks for your help!
Posted 16 January 2009 - 05:23 PM
Posted 16 January 2009 - 06:12 PM
But I'm still confused about the invisible part. Are the pages actually indexed? Do you see them when you perform a site:domain.com type of search?
In a nutshell, if you're going to change all of the known urls doing so before pages start to rank is probably the optimum time to do so. Just be careful that you're not hinting to the client that such user-friendly urls are going to actually improve rankings. Because they're not.
Posted 16 January 2009 - 06:14 PM
OK -- I'll research that. Thanks for the help Jill.
Yes Randy, they are actually indexed. I mean "invisible" (as I tried to explain previously) ... the rankings stink ... they're poor ... they are for all intent purposes lost down deep in rankings numbers for keyword phrases they should be ranking much better for. That is because even basic on-page optimization is non existent.
Thank you for saying this, however I never make "promises" about improving rankings to clients for any work that may be performed, nor am I that uneducated in search engine optimization that I think that "user friendly URLs" improve rankings.
I never meant to give the impression that I thought so. But thanks for taking the time to help.
Edited by BizWoman, 16 January 2009 - 06:28 PM.
Posted 17 January 2009 - 06:27 PM
Url Rewriting with ASP.NET
Not done in .NET but in "old fashioned" ASP -> http://www.modtalk.co.uk/ Not an ISAPI component in sight (I got hacked off at fighting with Wordpress and wrote my own )
Posted 17 January 2009 - 11:05 PM
You go Chris !
BizWoman: I didn't mean to imply anything at all, let alone a lack of SEO knowledge. I tend to pen replies for the unwashed masses even if the person asking doesn't fit the profile. Please don't take questions or advice the wrong way. I'm just trying to encourage those readers who may not be quite as experienced ask themselves a few questions. The fact of the matter is there are a lot more readers here than posters. So the questions, opinions, impressions, thoughts, etc of all posters are most definitely appreciated.
Here's the sense I get from the site you're working on, obviously without having many of the details.
If most or all of the pages are indexed (hence my site: type search question) but the site's pages just aren't ranking, I rather doubt it has anything to do with the URLs. There could be another technical reason having to do with the server/hosting, but it's not the URLs themselves if they only have one variable/value pair.
Yes that sort of leaves the door open. Meaning it could be anything. From the copy on the page to the internal navigation structure to the inbound links to the level of the competition to about a 100 other things. But we don't have enough info to make those kinds of determinations or even guesses.
All I can tell you is it's not the URL structure. Which doesn't necessarily mean you should change those while it can be done without causing harm.
If you want to shoot me over the URL and details you've already sussed out via PM I'd be happy to take a look and tell you if I see anything troubling. Which is the best I can offer.
Posted 18 January 2009 - 03:45 PM
Then that's a big part of the problem. If they are indexed and ranking (badly) the basic on-page optimization would be the first order of business IMO.
I'd also check the structure all of my internal links and make sure they can be followed. And try to get a few links from quality external sites and this is not so easy to do as it used to be.
And I'd want to get that all the page modifications complete, proofread more than once and then upload them all at the same time.
Me, my ownself, I wouldn't change any file extensions if the pages are working already. But that's just my two bucks (inflation).
Posted 18 January 2009 - 04:34 PM
But they're not working, i.e., no traffic coming in. So since redesigning anyway (think she said that) might as well try and make them work better and be more usable if nothing else.
Posted 18 January 2009 - 07:31 PM
Posted 19 January 2009 - 11:03 AM
Jill: I'm glad you agree that making the URL's more usable is a good move.
And Randy ... thanks for clarification of your comments and offer of help--may take you up on it in near future. I want to stress again, though, that I can clearly see what the main ranking and traffic negatives are with this "site" ... and it pretty much comes down to a lack of quality keyword focused content and a lack of basic best practice optimization.
If we can get basic SEO in place, I am very sure positive results in many respects will be experienced.
Prettying-up the URLs is just a small step to put a little icing on the cake.
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