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Does Google like dynamic content served from MS Access?
Argh! Please help
TheSisko

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20948 posted 4:48 pm on Jan 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

My ASP based web site serves up dynamic content from both MSSQL and Access databases. The vast majority of the MSSQL content is indexed by Goggle, using links such as http://www.example.com/newsitem?ID=47 - however, none of the Access content was getting indexed despite the fact that some of that content is being linked to by some popular external sites.

So, Ive changed my 404 page to serve that Access content as static links http://www.example.com/showAccessItem?ID=50 becomes http://www.example.com/AccessItem/50/ - I pass the ID as a session variable and do a Server.Transfer to another page that builds and displays the content.

My questions are :

>>> Is there a way of knowing *now* if Goggle will index my Access content properly? Or do I really need to wait a month or so before my site is re-indexed? (I ran my Access pages through the Webmaster spider tool and the content was being served up OK - both via query string AND via my new static links)

>>> Would putting a link from my front page, to the page which has the links for the Access content help?

>>> Is there a chance that Google is just timing out when attempting to index the Access content? (Not that the databases appear slow to me when viewing that content, IMO).

Thanks for your time (and a great site)

[edited by: tedster at 11:55 pm (utc) on Mar. 29, 2004]
[edit reason] use example.com [/edit]

 

Chico_Loco

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20948 posted 9:53 pm on Jan 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

When you say you've changed you 404 error page to show the static page, what exactly do you mean?

Are these pages all returning 404 rsponse codes? If so then this is likely the reason why the pages are not being indexed. Other than a 200 respose code, only 301's & 302' would be any good.

Using MS Access for the DB really shouldn't be an issue and the bot won't be able to know what the database type is anyway.

Not sure how I feel about omitting extensions in the URL. It might be beneficial to add .php / .asp or whatever.

TheSisko

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20948 posted 11:22 pm on Jan 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

When you say you've changed you 404 error page to show the static page, what exactly do you mean?

>>> I actually got the idea to do this from a thread on this site ( [webmasterworld.com...] ) - search engine bots, should, with any luck, view the page as static content.

>>> My 404 page is called 404.asp - then, when the bot attempts to index http://www.example.com/AccessDB/47/ - it will goto 404.asp because the AccessDB/47/ directory doesn't exist in my site. In 404.asp, I get the QueryString, and in this example, I retrive the '47' (which is the ID of the content in the database), stick 47 into a session variable, then I do a Server.Transfer to another page which gets the content from the database.

Are these pages all returning 404 rsponse codes? If so then this is likely the reason why the pages are not being indexed. Other than a 200 respose code, only 301's & 302' would be any good.

>>> According to my site stats, no - but I seem to be getting a high number of 500 errors. Since the site has been working for some time now with 1500 unique visitors per day (and no-one contacted me screaming 'wahh! This page doesn't work!'), I can only guess that perhaps those errors are being generated by search engine bots which are attemping and failing to index my Access DB content.

Using MS Access for the DB really shouldn't be an issue and the bot won't be able to know what the database type is anyway.

>>> Yeah, that's what I thought. Nevertheless, Google loves indexing all of my MSSQL content - but doesn't like any of my Access content. Bizarre.

Not sure how I feel about omitting extensions in the URL. It might be beneficial to add .php / .asp or whatever.

>>> I might give that a try. Thanks.

[edited by: tedster at 11:54 pm (utc) on Mar. 29, 2004]

SlyOldDog

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20948 posted 12:12 am on Jan 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

We have a site running on MSAccess. It is one of our top performers in Google.

As Chico Loco says, Google has no idea which database is behind the asp anyway.

It may just be a question of time, and waiting for Google to notice those access pages. Google crawls dynamic pages slower than static, so making them static would possibly speed things up.

johannamck

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20948 posted 1:14 am on Jan 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

I set up several websites the way TheSisko explains, and had no problem getting them indexed in Google. I did insert a Response.Status = "200 OK" to be sure.

In my opinion, omitting extensions such as .asp or .php is a good choice. No need to make your platform choice part of the URL, in case you want to change platforms later.

Google can't see that your pages are driven by MS Access, or even that they're dynamic.

Maybe the server is too slow? GoogleGuy mentioned that googlebot spiders dynamic pages slower than static pages, considering that they might take longer to build. You don't get that benefit if your pages appear static.

If you continue to have problems, here's a suggestion: download at least part of your site - then upload these (now truly static) pages and see if they get indexed. You can always delete them later and it will go through the 404 procedure again.

TheSisko

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20948 posted 1:56 am on Jan 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

What I've done for now is tweak my code, so that

http://www.example.com/Access423.htm

...actually maps to :

http://www.example.com/Access.asp?ID=423

Plus I've thrown in a Response.Status = "200 OK", as kindly suggested by johannamck. I'll wait a while and see what Google does with it...if anything. :-) Those links are on several dynamic MSSQL pages which Goggle is happy to index, so, if there is a God, Google should see my 'static-ish' links and index away.

Either way, thanks for your help and suggestions guys, and I'll report back to let u know what happens. :-)

[edited by: tedster at 11:56 pm (utc) on Mar. 29, 2004]
[edit reason] use example.com [/edit]

MrSpeed

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20948 posted 8:06 pm on Jan 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>Maybe the server is too slow?

That was my initial thought. In general Access is a poor choice when performance counts. Maybe as the spider goes throught the site the Access pages are loading slower.

dasboot



 
Msg#: 20948 posted 8:25 pm on Jan 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Stop ponceing around and make a static site. Problem solved.

SlyOldDog

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20948 posted 3:55 pm on Jan 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

eh? Why would anyone want a static site? Our static sites are the bain of my life.

Kwix

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20948 posted 6:55 pm on Jan 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

I agree with SlyOldDog. 2 of our sites are static and have become a royal pain to maintain as the information on the sites is constantly in need of change.

Our dynamic site is a breeze to update / change and Google has no problems with it.

So long as your GET variables are few and you avoid "ID" in the names it seems to work ok.

TheSisko

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20948 posted 11:21 pm on Jan 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

Speaking as someone who, in the past, has spent *whole weekends* updating static sites - there's no way I'm going 'static' now. I just wish I'd learnt about ASP and databases a few years before I did - I would have saved myself a lot of time and actually *had* a life at the weekends. :-)

TheSisko

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20948 posted 1:11 pm on Jan 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

YES YES YES!

It worked! Google has indexed by 'static-ish' Access content using that 404 trick!

Excuse me, while I dance around the room!

Thanks for the help, everyone. :-)

Tor

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 20948 posted 9:45 am on Jan 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Congratulations TheSisko! ;)

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