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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast thechronic's Avatar
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    Effect of page name change on search engines

    I have just updated one of my sites with a PHP back end, causing all the page names to change from eg home.html to home.php.

    How does this influence the ability for a search engine to spider my site? Ofcourse the hits that are shown at the moment still link to the old pages.

    I have added a 404 page that links to the main page, is this sufficient for a search engine to spider the entire site again? The main page contains links to all the other pages.

  2. #2
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Your site should be published again no problem.

    Why do you have home.php though? I assume you also have an index.php page? If not you really need to change home.php to index.php, otherwise going to http://www.yoursite.com/ will not bring up your home page.

    You could also very easily keep your old extensions by setting up apache to parse .html pages as php, this would be easy to do.

    The only downside you'll experience due to your new page extensions is loss of link popularity. Any incoming links pointing to your old pages will no longer help you.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
    Featured Article: Free Comprehensive SEO Guide
    My Guide to Building a Successful Website
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast thechronic's Avatar
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    I have an index.html intro page which points to home.php.

    The idea of configuring Apache to parse HTML files is interesting, I'll check this out. Thanks!!

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast thechronic's Avatar
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    I tried it, but it does not seem to work. The PHP scripts are ignored.

    Where do I place the .htaccess file? I have now placed it in the /local/apache folder since I found a file there called '.htpassw'

  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast goldrake75's Avatar
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    don't worry about php & dynamic sites:
    I read that Google follow dynamic urls if linked by a static page, and it seems to be real looking at my site's logs

  6. #6
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    having your home page redirect is shooting yourself in the foot. Change your home.php to index.php and change all the links pointing to it.

    http://www.spiderpro.com/bu/buphph001.html

    That explains how to setup .htaccess
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
    Featured Article: Free Comprehensive SEO Guide
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  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast thechronic's Avatar
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    Originally posted by aspen
    having your home page redirect is shooting yourself in the foot. Change your home.php to index.php and change all the links pointing to it.

    http://www.spiderpro.com/bu/buphph001.html

    That explains how to setup .htaccess
    I currently have only the company logo and the text 'enter' in the index.html of my site. By clicking on 'enter' you go to home.php.

    Is this bad? This was proposed by my client. However I don't think my client would oppose getting rid of the intro page if this could improve SE rankings.

  8. #8
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Yes, its bad.


    Also all internal links should point to http://www.yoursite.com

    not

    http://www.yoursite.com/index.html
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
    Featured Article: Free Comprehensive SEO Guide
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  9. #9
    SitePoint Enthusiast thechronic's Avatar
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    I tried to do this, I renamed home.php to index.php, but when I now load the URL http://www.mysite.com/ the page doesn't open - instead the directory tree of the site is shown.

    I suppose the page should be named index.html but then the PHP parts are not executed.

    I also can't get the .htaccess to work. I will ask my host what to do about this.

  10. #10
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    You also need to talk to your host about the index page. It sounds like they have failed to set it up so that index.php, or any page in the form of index.* is served by default.

    Also even allowing directory indexes is a security risk.

    this doesn't sound like much of a host.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
    Featured Article: Free Comprehensive SEO Guide
    My Guide to Building a Successful Website
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