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Re: Does changing index file extension hit search engine results?

  • Subject: Re: Does changing index file extension hit search engine results?
  • From: "James A" <me@privacy.net>
  • Date: Fri, 05 Aug 2005 13:56:35 GMT
  • Newsgroups: alt.www.webmaster, alt.internet.search-engines
  • Organization: ntl Cablemodem News Service
  • References: <ckGIe.16675$Aw4.6049@newsfe5-win.ntli.net> <op.su084wdqm9g4qz-wnt@tbdata.com> <dcvobv$3q0$1@godfrey.mcc.ac.uk>
  • Xref: news.mcc.ac.uk alt.www.webmaster:281271 alt.internet.search-engines:64475
"Roy Schestowitz" <newsgroups@schestowitz.com> wrote in message
> William Tasso wrote:
> > Writing in news:alt.www.webmaster
> >  From the safety of the ntl Cablemodem News Service cafeteria
> > James A <me@privacy.net> said:
> >
> >> Hi,
> >
> > How do you do?
> >
> >> I want to include some PHP in my index page, so am going to change it
> >> from
> >> index.htm to index.php. I'm wondering, since it took quite a few months
> >> to
> >> get decent positioning within Google, would that change cause a
> >> downgrade of
> >> the site's search engine position, since the original file was no
> >> locatable?
> The request for your index will be something along the lines of 'GET /'
> meaning that there will be no notion of which file gets delivered. The
> server will deliver whatever it is programmed to deliver. I think that
> Apache gives precedence to PHP, then attempts index.html and then
> index.htm. However, if the file itself changes (at the level of output,
> PHP source), its interpretation will probably vary.

I was wondering about the order of precedence, and whether I could keep the
.htm file for a while, during transition. I'll try it out.

> > Or maybe it is only the domain that is indexed by Google for
> >> the
> >> index page rather than the file itself (in the search results, the link
> >> is
> >> to http://www.xyz.com/)? I wonder about the impact on searches by MSN
> >> too.
> >
> > Several thoughts spring to mind ...
> >
> > o Cool URIs don't change: http://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/URI.html
> >
> > o Our friends over at ais-e are probably better placed to give more
> > qualified response - group added
> >
> > o PHP probably indicates linux/apache.  I believe there is a control
> > setting you can make that tells the server to parse .htm files for PHP
> >
> > o Google et al don't really understand anything more than a URI so if
> > spider your page as http://example.com and also as
> > http://example.com/index.htm then one of these will (eventually) be
> > dropped from the index because of duplicate content.
> Have you got anything in your site which points to /index.html or
> /index.htm? If so, change it, but keep the old index files alive (I think
> PHP supersedes HTML). Remember that caching might cause crawlers to have a
> notion of the index file that you wish to get rid of. Maybe use a
> re-direction like index.html>index.php and/or index.htm>index.php? I don't
> think it will be frowned upon by SE's.

Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately, my home button on each page points to
index.htm - I should have thought of that before.

> > o The correct way to advise UAs of a changed URI is by sending a "301 -
> > Moved Permanently" Header
> Yes, but I heard (and seen) bad things about its impact in practice.
> Roy
> -- 
> Roy S. Schestowitz
> http://Schestowitz.com

Thanks for your advice, Roy.


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