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To Rewrite Or Not To Rewrite


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5 replies to this topic

#1 rebelbwb

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 09:29 PM

Is there any reason in which NOT to change the following

www.domainname.com/location/?page=shoppingdining

to the following

www.domainname.com/location/rv-resort-shopping-and-dining.php

I am more interested in placing more relevant keywords in the URL's than anything. The site already does not get much traffic.

Thanks

#2 Randy

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 06:55 AM

Reasons not to do it.

1. Loading up the URI with keywords isn't some panacea that's going to cause those pages to suddenly start ranking for those keyword phrases. If it helps it's not much, so usually not worth the effort.

2. Your first URL is NOT Unfriendly to spiders.

3. Assuming those old pages are already indexed you'd need to set up 301 redirects for traffic hitting those pages directly. Which can be tricky since technically those URI's may still be being used to deliver the page, just under a rewritten URL. This is much easier said than done.

4. If it's a dynamic site where the navigation scheme is created by the script you'll need to figure out how to edit it so that it reflects your rewritten URLs.

5. You'd need to tweak any regular sitemap or xml sitemap script so that it reflects the new URLs instead of the old ones.

6. It'll put more load on the server since you're not only rewriting URLs but also redirecting URLs in certain situations.

7. You're talking a lot of work for minimal potential gain. When there are better ways to get better rankings and more traffic.

8. When you ask for trouble it usually finds you.

#3 gsimerlink

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 12:44 PM

Speaking of URLs that are not search engine friendly, would this example qualify?

(domain.com)/wizards/searchResults.cfm?searchFilter=&srchExt=CAT&perPage=27&sortBy=3&layout=grid&page=1&srchPrice=&srchCat=94&srchMfg=34&srchPromo=

Any thoughts / suggestions?



#4 DanThies

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 01:26 PM

Well, that's a search result page - which isn't something the search engines want you to serve them, but let's overlook that.

Are there any of those variables you could afford to lose, or replace with a default? I mean, for example - does layout=grid accomplish anything that wouldn't be accomplished by using 'grid' as the default?

#5 gsimerlink

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 02:45 PM

QUOTE(DanThies @ Apr 28 2009, 02:26 PM) View Post
Well, that's a search result page - which isn't something the search engines want you to serve them, but let's overlook that.


That's part of the problem, TPTB have changed most of the pages to be search results. Then building them into the google sitemap as pages.

The variables you see were the result of a programmer trying to create a search system with selectable variables (like amazon and newegg have). However, they are serving all the variables whether they are used or not, which is why "&srchPrice=" has no value associated with it. BTW the "layout=grid" variable is to set the way the search results present themselves: grid or line view.

shout.gif




#6 Randy

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 10:43 AM

I wouldn't consider anything with more than 3 variable->value pairs to be search engine friendly personally. Regardless of whether the variable actually has a value or is simply null.

Having 4 or more variables doesn't automatically mean a page won't get indexed. But with 4 or more you're making it more difficult.

I know the developer is probably having to satisfy a lot of different masters, but he or she really has thrown the web site's visibility for a loop with slapping all of those variables in the url. Developers who specialize web sites at some point in their own personal development usually reach the point where they put up more of a fight when TPTB, who almost never know what they really need, want too many things that are going to put up too many barriers. Unfortunately for you it doesn't sound like your developer is at that point yet. Or he/she simply lost the battle.




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