I haven't been able to get a definitive answer regarding this question, so I'm hoping I can find it here.
My website home page has a .shtml extension. is this any cause for concern when it comes to ranking the home page in the major search engines? Do they look "down upon" pages that have a .shtml extension? Should I try and get this switched to .html? Thanks, I look forward to your replies.
Yes they do Bradley. If you know anyone that has done any serious research on rankings and filetypes, there is pretty clear evidence that the dynamic file extensions don't do as well as the standard ones. Google has hit them hard. Alta has too.
That's both on the money. It depends on how your server is setup. There are many that will still return a 'doc moved 302' error and the client will have to rerequest the destination file - thus they have the file name. About as many - won't (apache will do indexing without causing another client<->server round trip.
Root and directory indexes aside, you still have to consider your standard files too.