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Changing whole site asp pages to html
Suggestion needed that are to be considered for Google

 10:47 am on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

One of my client wants to change all the .asp pages to html pages of his website, I request you all experts to suggest me what are the things that need to be considered for Google before converting asp pages to html.

Site hosted on IIS server, what is the best way of doing 301 redirect from asp page to html? I am not sure whether client has got access to IIS Manager.



 2:42 pm on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

I would 301 (permanent redirect) on a global basis i.e., *.asp becomes *.htm. Pretty easy on an Apache server. If he's ditching asp doesn't he want to ditch MS altogether? If he wants to stay with it he needs access to IIS or needs something like ISAPI-ReWrite.

Don't use the removal tool. Especially don't use it on your homepage.
Get a lot of new links to the pages that have a new extension name.

Submitting Option 1: Do nothing, Google will pick up the changes (my preference)
Option 2: Do a sitemap and submit after you've made the changes.


 2:08 am on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Don't do it. Or if you do, wave goodbye to your client.

I did it a couple of years ago. My isp helped me set up comprehensive 301 redirects but it didn't make any difference. I disappeared off the face of the earth... according to Google, and didn't begin to recover for over 12 months.

(of course Big Daddy probably didn't help either!)

Yahoo, on the other hand, took the change in its stride.



 2:12 am on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Expect at least a year before you get re-included in the index. Been there, done that.....


 4:48 am on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

From other thread
Block googlebot from the old domain with robots.txt to avoid duplicate problems.

The indexed content pages will be there in Google cache, I doubt blocking pages of old domain in robot.txt will resolve the duplicate content issue, will it?

I've done it - it worked, and it's also supposed to work. Yes, Google keeps a copy of a previously cached document "somewhere" or other, but the robots.txt blocked domain will get removed from active scoring.

How about blocking overall old asp pages in robot.txt file for the current scenario.


 5:12 am on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

isapi rewrite is one way to swap out the .html to .asp on the backend, however you would have to 301 the old extension to the new and you will lose pages in google for a while and depending on how many pages you have google may see the mass amount of new pages as spammy. it's very risky.


 3:05 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Why change the extension?

Just because you change the technology that runs the website, that does not mean that any of the URLs visible to the public have to change.

You can leave the URLs as .asp even though there is no ASP code within those pages.

Alternatively, you can use an internal rewrite so that when a URL with .asp is requested, the server sends the correct .htm page, but does so with a 200 OK status code and does NOT redirect to the .htm URL.


 5:17 pm on Mar 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

I would simply rename the pages with the exact same name, except .html instead of .asp. Then you can create a custom 404 that looks for the newly named page and if it is there, it returns a 301 to the new page. If the page isn't there, then it returns a standard 404.

You didn't say if you were moving away from using asp as your server technology, but you can also set the .html extension to be processed by the asp engine so you don't lose any asp functionality even on the .html pages.

I've used both of the above techniques on many sites and I've never had a problem, and you don't need any 3rd party components to utilize them.


 6:15 pm on Mar 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

You can do the 301 redirect thing, but why go to all that trouble?

Cool URIs Never Change [w3.org]


 9:54 am on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

I did this exact exercise a couple years ago.

I setup the original site in a development environment. I built a 2nd site who's whole purpose was to walk through the sitemap and scrape the 1st site and put it into html files in a directory to upload.

I then made wrote small asp page stubs for each original page to provide 301's.

Made a sitemap with the new pages.

I didn't lose any rank.


 1:52 pm on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks g1smd and dataguy for your inputs.

Client wants it to be static html pages, as it is somewhat difficult for me using rewrite engines cause I haven't done this previously, as for as I feel it will be good to keep the existing asp pages with 301 redirecting to the respective html page till the Search engines find the html pages, once html pages are been indexed, deleting those old asp pages will not hurt the ranking I guess.


 3:51 pm on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

deleting those old asp pages will not hurt the ranking I guess

You will loose your PR. It is advisable to keep your redirects for as long as you can.

How long to keep 301 redirect [webmasterworld.com]
I'm with the others... A link is forever, not just for Christmas.
Certainly a month is nowhere near long enough. ... But I'd leave it there for a long long time.


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