We are moving to a new software and I have some Google SEO concerns.
Currently, our site has very good rankings for product-specific URLs, in the form of http://www.mysite.com/detail.asp?product_id=12345. Our new software includes an out-of-the-box detail page of the form: http://www.mysite.com/productdetails.asp?productcode=12345.
1. I now have the ability to mask URLs server side, transforming the asp URL into an SEO-friendly static looking URL (../productdetails.asp?productCode=12345 becomes ../productdetails.12345.htm) Can I expect to maintain (or to quickly achieve) the same product-specific rankings for my high ranking URLS if I change the detail page URL and all internal references to it to the more SEO-friendly type of detail page?
2. I suspect that most folks would agree that the answer to 1. is no, so my next question: What is the most SEO-friendly way to change the new detail page to resemble the old one? I can easily change the name of the page (from productdetails.asp to detail.asp), but I wonder if there is a quck-and-dirty way to change the URI string \such that the Google bot reads ../detail.asp?product_id=12345 instead of ../detail.asp?productCode=12345.