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Better To Have Links Point To Index Page Or Domain?


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3 replies to this topic

#1 olimess

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 08:43 AM

Hi everyone,


This one has had me baffled for sometime now. I've read many contradictory statements regarding this. Here is my situation. First, is it better to have internal site links point to your index page or to your site domain address? For example,


Which is better?

www.mydomain.com/index.php

- OR -

www.mydomain.com/



Just as important, which should external links point to ... index page or domain?


Here is why I ask. Currently, all my internal links to our home page use the www.mydomain.com/index.php approach. We also have several hundred external links that point to us which use both approaches. Some point to our index page while others point to our domain. I'm not sure if it makes a difference or not but I would imagine it does considering Google's canonical URL link tag.

Assuming that linking to the index page is better, I made sure that all internal links point directly to my index page for the home link and I set the canonical URL on my index page to be www.mydomain.com/index.php. As far as I know, this would then transfer all PR associated to www.mydomain.com/ over to www.mydomain.com/index.php. Is this true?

I'm guessing not because days after making these changes our website fell a couple of positions in our rankings and we lost a PR point. This was about 3 weeks ago and our traffic has suffered as a result. I'm now trying to figure out if the changes I made were wrong and what changes should be made instead?


Hopefully this makes sense. Thanks for taking your time to read this post. I hope someone out there can help me figure out this issue.


Thanks,
Olimess

#2 Randy

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 09:11 AM

It doesn't really matter, as long as you're consistent in your linking. The search engines will typically even try to help you out by merging the two into one if they can figure out the two addresses are really to the same page.

As a general course I try to stick to the domain-only structure. Partly because I know I can't control how other people link to my site and the vast majority seem to use just the domain name, and partly because I'm planning for possible future developments when I might change the name of the index file to move to a different technology. But in the end it's not a biggie one way or the other as long as you stay consistent in how you're linking to your own pages and handling those page requests at the server level.

#3 olimess

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 11:34 AM

QUOTE(Randy @ Sep 9 2009, 10:11 AM) View Post
It doesn't really matter, as long as you're consistent in your linking. The search engines will typically even try to help you out by merging the two into one if they can figure out the two addresses are really to the same page.

As a general course I try to stick to the domain-only structure. Partly because I know I can't control how other people link to my site and the vast majority seem to use just the domain name, and partly because I'm planning for possible future developments when I might change the name of the index file to move to a different technology. But in the end it's not a biggie one way or the other as long as you stay consistent in how you're linking to your own pages and handling those page requests at the server level.



Well, through the years most of my external links that point to my site have been in the domain format (http://www.mydomain.com/) rather then pointing directly to my index page. So I guess it was foolish of me to try to change things up at this point.

Would I be better off changing my internal links, my canonical URL and any external links I have control of back to the domain format? Someone on another forum also suggests that I do a 301 redirect of my www.mydomain.com/index.php to www.mydomain.com/ Is this a good idea?

Basically I just want to make sure I get the most bang for my buck considering my current situation, which is I have tons of links pointing to my site using the domain format (<-- I'm not sure what else to call it).

#4 Randy

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 07:42 PM

QUOTE
Someone on another forum also suggests that I do a 301 redirect of my www.mydomain.com/index.php to www.mydomain.com/ Is this a good idea?


Not usually necessary, and it's something you have to be very careful with so that you don't end up creating an endless redirect loop. In Apahce .htaccess you'd want to use THE_REQUEST in your rewritecond statement. I don't even know if there's a way to do that on IIS.

What this internal linking something that has changed recently? If so and f you really want that kind of file structure you may want to leave it for a bit and see what Google etal make of our changes. OOr if you've already seen downward movement in the SERPs you might go ahead and swtich it back to remove any possible confusion.




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