rewrite question

Posted on 2003-12-10
Last Modified: 2010-08-05
I've recently been helped by my web host to do a url rewrite.  It's not the first time, so each new one has to be respidered.  The last time used underscores to represent where spaces would be between words.  The database was based on cities and states.  Because some cities have multiple states..  that is, there are different states with a city by the same name, I discovered after the last rewrite that people were being sent to the correct city in the wrong state sometimes.  

So now, that problem is resolved, but I'm wondering if the manner in which it was resolved will be productive or counterproductive to my efforts to be search engine friendly.  now, detail pages read   where AB=the two-letterabbreviation for the state.

It works, it has the cityname, but it has all these "."s

How does that compare to having a city name following  ?

In that case, the detail page was twice removed in directories from the home page.  Should I seek a better solution?
Question by:linque
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 2

Assisted Solution

DoppyNL earned 125 total points
ID: 9918929
I don't know what keyword is, but I suspect it is a search parameter of some kind?!?

I would use this format:
I would even drop the .html ! (doesn't matter for search engine's, as they suspect you are returning something like an index.html

But in reality it doesn't really matter in what order those parameters are, crawlers really aren't that smart as humans are. They simply look at links that point to pages and so on.
if there is a . or not in the url doesn't matter, it will simply be seen as a part of a dir-name or file-name.

a plus to use a / instead of a . is that some crawlers might realise that it is a sub-dir and may suspect a relation between those subpages; causing a better ranking on other subdirs...

Do keep away from these characters though:
? = & ' " ` ; : { } < > ( ) ! @ # % * [ ] \ + (space)
why? because they can cause all kinds of troubles.
Some are used in crawler software wich causes problems with indexing your pages
Some are used on forums, wich cause problems when displaying urls
Some are common characters wich causes word processing software to cut of your url to early.
Some are `banned` by crawlers because they show that the page is dynamic
and more

>> In that case, the detail page was twice removed in directories from the home page.
What do you mean with this?
LVL 24

Accepted Solution

duz earned 125 total points
ID: 9918967
linque -

>...productive or counterproductive...

I haven't got a definitive answer for this one! I can say that I have seen sites in top positions with directory names so they must be ok in some circumstances. On the other hand the conventional opinion is that using "."s in a directory name as far as search engine bots are concerned is asking for trouble.

>How does that compare to having a city name following  ?

Subject to the jury being still out on the "."s it should be better because the pages are now one less down from the root directory.

My inclination would be to leave it as it is and see what the bots do with it from the server logs but there has to be a small element of risk associated with that approach.

Sorry I can't be more helpful :(

- duz


Author Comment

ID: 9919072
Thank you both!   And your comments are always very helpful duz!

I just wish the changes did not result in lost time as they seem to.  I'll probably sit it out as you suggested, duz.  
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 9919659
DoppyNL -

>> In that case, the detail page was twice removed in directories from the home page.
>What do you mean with this?

I think linque is working on the correct assumption that, everything else being equal, shallow directory depth is crawler friendly and gets indexed faster although the depth makes no difference to the index itself. The google algo of course considers link depth and not directory depth.

- duz


Featured Post

Independent Software Vendors: We Want Your Opinion

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

If you don’t want your company's site to fail on the web, you’d do well to observe these best web design practices and make sure you implement them when applicable.
Because your company can’t afford for you to make SEO mistakes, you’ll want to ensure you’re taking the right steps each and every time you post a new piece of content. This list of optimization do’s and don’ts can help you become an SEO wizard.
This tutorial demonstrates how to identify and create boundary or building outlines in Google Maps. In this example, I outline the boundaries of an enclosed skatepark within a community park.  Login to your Google Account, then  Google for "Google M…
This tutorial walks through the best practices in adding a local business to Google Maps including how to properly search for duplicates, marker placement, and inputing business details. Login to your Google Account, then search for "Google Mapmaker…

623 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question