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Should we do url rewriting?
should we do url rewrite?

 8:22 am on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I wonder if we should do the url rewrite on our site to seo friendly links, right no w they are (php232?......)

The pages are already indexed in google and the site is online for few years.

The yahoo index is really bad but the site has PR4. SO I am afraid to change anything because all the urls will change and that can affect ranking and possibly PR - but you will probably say PR is dependable only on links

What should we do?



 12:14 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Search engines have gotten a lot better in indexing dynamic URLs than they were a few years back. Unless you are using session IDs in your URLs (which I'll assume you aren't), I would say it's not worth it.

If you do decide to go for it, keep in mind that the new pages may not rank as well as the old for a while. You may also run into duplicate content problems unless you are careful.

For example, if the current page is page.php?code=widgets, and you rewrite this to widgets.html, then the same content will be available under both URLs. You'll need to do something like:

1. Make sure all on-site links point to widgets.html
2. Copy page.php to newpage.php.
3. Do your rewrite such that widgets.html points to newpage.php?code=widgets
4. In your code for the original page.php, detect if the value for code is widgets, and if so do a 301 redirect to widgets.html

This obviously gets a lot more complicated with multiple arguments and thousands of pages.


 12:18 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you are indexed, then keep the same URLs you have now.

There is no problem with indexing URLs with less than 3 parameters.

You just need to avoid having multiple working indexable URLs for the same content.

(see my earlier threads on that topic)


 1:56 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

We started doing url rewriting this past summer when the site wasn't doing very well and it does appear to have helped. We did do 301 redirects to the new pages, but stil google tries to go look at the old ones which are no longer there. I assume it will take at least a year for those to be flushed from their datacenters.

We have seen an increase in rankings and traffic, but I'm not sure it was entirely due to the rewrite since we also did alot of site housekeeping at the same time as well. We did see an increase in pages that are now spidered by yahoo and msn which is directly related to the rewrite though.

[edited by: Bewenched at 1:57 pm (utc) on Jan. 23, 2007]


 3:47 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

URL rewriting for an existing previously-indexed site is a three-step process:

  • Change the links on your pages to static links.
  • Add code to httpd.conf or .htaccess on Apache, or use ISAPI rewrite on IIS, to internally rewrite these static links back to the dynamic form needed to invoke your existing script(s).
  • Add additional code to do 301-Moved Permanently external redirects from the old dynamic links to the new static ones.

    The actual order of implementation differs -- You'd obviously want to do step 2 in preparation for step 1, but the procedure is easier to understand when ordered as shown above.

    The final step - redirecting the old dynamic URLs to the new static ones, prevents the duplicate content problems mentioned above by telling the search engines to drop the old dynamic URLs and use the new static URLs.

    The procedure for Apache is described in more detail in this thread: Changing Dynamic URLs to Static URLs [webmasterworld.com].


  • fendy

     4:44 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

    The urls look like these


    So I am not sure if it is worth it at all

    it seems to be abigger deal than expected and also the pictures might now work

    is there anybody who has the urls like that and ranks good?


     6:26 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

    Looks like you also have a session ID in there.

    That's bad.


     6:31 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

    You could look into using one of the off the shelf OsCommerce plugins for search engine friendly URLs... Just make sure you setup 301 redirects from the old URLs to the new URLs.


     6:36 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

    The site is a simple shopping site and it does not use any kind of CMS at all. it has around 40 pages with mostly pictures on it and that is it.

    I really do not know why the guy left the url like that.

    I am starting doing seo on that site and I think I have to make the urls seo friendly.

    YOu have also answered me that there is a session id in urls.

    So please can someone explain me what should I tell the designer exactly so we do not mess something up. Please be precise.

    I know how to do the redirects and I will put them into htaccess.
    I will make a 301 redirect for each of the page to the new page.
    How long should the redirects be in the htaccess?


     10:11 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

    >> The site is a simple shopping site and it does not use any kind of CMS at all. <<

    Are you sure that they aren't using a version of, or bits of code from, a package such as osCommerce for example?

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