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google doesn't index php sites anymore?

 9:45 am on Oct 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think this has something to do with the new update, but I couldn't find it in the big topic on google's new update.
All of a sudden my pages couldn't be found anymore on google, while they were listed at very high positions for certain key words.
I use php to get the different articles on my site from a mysql database. so you get something like article.php?id=23
In the past, google was just recognizing these pages, showing the title and the content in their search results. Now they dissapeared completely and when I do a sitesearch, they are only listed as urls (e.g. www.domain.com/article.php?id=23).

When I now search for keywords I notice that there aren't any php files in the search results.. only htm/html.

Has anyone else seen this problem? And do you know whether google will fix this?

I hope google will go back to normal and will recognize php pages again, because now my amount of visitors has dropped seriously



 2:24 pm on Oct 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

The great majority of my sites are PHP based and have no problems (touch wood) at the moment.

I notice that you are using?id as a parameter, I think that this can cause problems and used to be mentioned on the Google webmaster guidelines - can anyone else confirm this?


 2:38 pm on Oct 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

GoogleGuy mentioned the "id" thing back in June - try not to use it


 2:40 pm on Oct 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

PHP isn't hurting me any.

Last SERP shuffle put me ahead of many of my competitors, and it seems to me that there is no penalty of any kind related to the use of PHP.

When used correctly - with the exception of a question mark in the URL, It should appear to be a HTML page when viewed by Google.

I assure you - Google is still indexing them.


 3:14 pm on Oct 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I use?artikelid=
I don't know if that makes a difference. Before last weekend it worked fine.
Perhaps google has to crawl my pages again and I just need to be patient.
MSN search can still find my pages perfectly, but who is using msn? Only a very small percentage


 3:35 pm on Oct 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

All our sites are in PHP they are doing great


 3:36 pm on Oct 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yeah I'm pretty sure its the ID thing too. It gets seen as a possible Affiliate tag.


 3:42 pm on Oct 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

our sites are in php and havn't suffered at all.


 4:24 pm on Oct 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

You should not have any problems with a database driven site. If you're using session IDs or anything like php?id=xx, you might want to think about using mod_rewrite.

Google's guidelines discourage the use:


You can find lots of information in your favorite search engine using a query like:

using mod_rewrite php session ids

Apache might be a good place to start and there is a webmaster's toolkit tool that might give you some ideas.


 5:10 pm on Oct 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the answers!
As far as I know, I'm not using session ids. the?artikelid= tag in my url is to get the right article from my database. perhaps I should not call it id, but?artikel=
As I mentioned, google didn't have problems with it untill a few days ago.


 6:00 pm on Oct 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I use?id= and all of my pages get indexed...I don't pass more than that 2 parameters...


 6:14 pm on Oct 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think (and hope) the problem will solve itself in a few days.
My php/mysql driven site only exists since the beginning of august. Before that I was doing everything with static html pages. The funny thing is, that some of those html pages can now be found on google although I deleted them once I got my php/mysql driven site.
I saw in the jagger-update discussion that other people also see old results coming back... so once google is back to normal and crawls my page again I think my problem is solved.

Thanks for all your help!



 6:15 pm on Oct 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

i noticed that even out .aspx pages got PR recently.
there shall be no problems with PHP pages than


 2:52 am on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

When I now search for keywords I notice that there aren't any php files in the search results.. only htm/html.

There are plenty of PHP files in the results. I have a PHP-only site where the files all have a .php extension, and it shows up just fine. And even if G didn't want to index PHP sites, they really wouldn't be able to block PHP. It's fairly easy to configure another extention to use PHP. For example, you could configure your server to treat all .html files as PHP. And we all know those won't ever be blocked.


 3:01 am on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

- Use a text browser such as Lynx to examine your site, because most search engine spiders see your site much as Lynx would. If fancy features such as JavaScript, cookies, session IDs, frames, DHTML, or Flash keep you from seeing all of your site in a text browser, then search engine spiders may have trouble crawling your site.
- Allow search bots to crawl your sites without session IDs or arguments that track their path through the site. These techniques are useful for tracking individual user behavior, but the access pattern of bots is entirely different. Using these techniques may result in incomplete indexing of your site, as bots may not be able to eliminate URLs that look different but actually point to the same page.

From Google's Webmaster Guidline.


 3:41 am on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

"google doesn't index php sites anymore?"

why do people post nonsense like this?


 4:20 am on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)


I agree with blue_eagle. If you dont want to use a lynx browser use the sim spider (google it).
Check if the url contains sessions IDs that are not visible when normally browsing the site. Often php will use cookies for sessions and if cookies cannot be used on the client (eg. a robot) then it will append an ID to all internal URLs on teh site. This could be the problem.


 4:22 am on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

why do people post nonsense like this?

Why do people post useless posts like this? No help to anyone!


 9:26 am on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

It has nothing to do with php, but what is well known is that SEs have difficulties in indexing dynamic URL like index.php?itemid=57 etc.


 6:51 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Rewrite your site with mod_rewrite to look like static html. That made a huge difference for me as far as indexing goes. Not only that, the change began to happen within a few days. I can't overemphasize the value of this enough.


 7:09 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

probably 20% of the internet is with .php so I doubt it :)


 7:27 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

thanks trimmer80:

"why do people post nonsense like this?
Why do people post useless posts like this? No help to anyone!"

My apologies to the original poster...(had a bad moment there...with just a residual twinge of my original response)

always work to make your php strings user friendly and make sure your?id= string has no more then 2 variables...
you should be okay for indexing...but the more descriptive the better...

If you format it this way:
?category= or?productid= etc.....
you will have a more descriptive url string..

Both Unix and IIS servers offers ways to achieve this...

The issue with this has always been that if a spider comes along and sees a question mark in a url string and then a series of equal signs...the bot sees this as a database reference (which it is) and if the bot wiggles its way into your database...it may not be able to find its way out...and you do not want a bot caught in your database in some horrible death loop...can bring down not only your site but an entire server as resources are eaten up...


 8:53 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I use index.php?ID=123 for every single site I do, and most of them are ranking pretty well.

However, at one point, I accidentally happened to use very high values for my ID variables, with figures like 32967, and at that point, new pages never made it into the index.

And based on what GG has said here previously, that ID strings might be confused with session IDs, it actually makes sense. No session ID would be as low 2, 3 or 4 digits.

Therefor, I have decided never to have more than 9999 content pages on any of my sites ;-)

Patrick Taylor

 9:13 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I agree with the mod_rewrite suggestion, to make an URL something like /ID-23 rewrite on the server into the "real" /index.php?ID=23 - or /widget/ID-23 into /widget.php?ID=23.

This avoids the? and = and removes the file extensions altogether, so that Google should always be very happy.


 4:37 am on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Slightly off topic i hope ya don't mind.

i was looking at a link request the other day from a php site.

Somehow Google had got confused with some of his pages.
Searching for www.hissite.com/pagename.php Google was returning a completely fully indexed different URL.
How could this happen? a mod_write gone wrong redirecting the old url to the new with a [RP] flag. Or is this something more sinister.
i asked the webmaster about this, and he said he wasn't using any rewrite software.

Has any one got any thoughts on this?



 4:43 am on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Personally I haven't had any problems with ASP (which I use). My url is in the format of [programming-designs.com...]

All of my asp pages get indexed fine -- though I am looking for a solution to re-write my URLs without mod_rewrite but an ISS rewrite alternative (as my hosting doesn't support mod_rewrite on an IIS server).


 10:53 am on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just remember if you have a url like /content.asp?id=widgets Google won't count the widgets as a "keyword" as part of the url. Where is /content/widgets will :)

Please correct me if im wrong. :)


 8:14 pm on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks again for all the suggestions. My website looks fine with Lynx, it has absolutely no problems with the .php?artikelid=
Google also didn't have problems in the past. I also don't think the problem is related to php anymore. I think google did something strange during the jagger update and lost the index of some of my (newer) pages. In return it now has some old pages (html) in its index which don't even exist anymore.

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