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Why would PageRank Show On Folders?

 9:30 pm on Jun 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've recently lost PR on most internal pages, and I'm trying to work out what is causing this.

I've noticed that PR shows on the directory path i.e. www.example.com/Dir/Telephones/ but not on a page if I manually type out the full path in the browser: www.example.com/Dir/Telephones/index.htm.

index.htm is the only file in the /Dir/Telephones/ directory.

The directory software defaults to specify pages without the index.htm extension. i.e. all paths in the html code have this format: www.example.com/Dir/Subdirectory/

I wondered if Google is seeing a duplicate page and discounting it? Some redirection going on?

[edited by: tedster at 10:54 pm (utc) on June 10, 2008]



 10:19 pm on Jun 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've recently lost PR on most internal pages, and I'm trying to work out what is causing this.

Did you recently make a change and hard code /index.html in some of your links?


 12:27 am on Jun 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

feeder: i have had the same for 3 years now.

example.com/folder shows my PR, but example.com/folder/index.php shows nothing.

Im not worried about it, cause I still get the google traffic.


 1:08 am on Jun 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

Technically those are two different urls and they could show different content - for instance, I know of sites where the directory root is default.asp, but there's also an index.html file in that directory. The index.html situation used to be a source of PR "splitting" but more recently it seems to me that Google has is sorted out for sites that show this kind of ambiguity.

Still, I feel it's a best practice only to use the directory root in all your links, and where your technology permits it, 301 redirect index.html requests to the directory root.

[edited by: tedster at 8:11 pm (utc) on June 11, 2008]


 1:49 am on Jun 11, 2008 (gmt 0)


The directory had PR, and nothing was changed. The directory used the directory root on all paths.

Still, I have the situation where there is no PR on internal pages showing on the toolbar. PR is showing in Webmaster Central.

I notice Yahoo Directory may be experiencing something similar?


Robert Charlton

 7:15 am on Jun 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

Take a look at the Hot Topics [webmasterworld.com] section, pinned to the top of the Google Search forum home page, and, in the section about Duplicate Content, read this thread...

Domain Root vs. index.html [webmasterworld.com] - yet another kind of duplicate

The canonical issues that apply to the domain root also apply to index.html and subdirectory roots. Note that in the Yahoo discussion you mention, Matt Cutts indicates that the gray barring of Yahoo subdirectories has to do with canonicalization (albeit of a different sort)....

Yahoo Directory Gray barred?

This isn't to say that you have the same issue, but it's clear that canonicalization could be a factor. I've seen the strange ranking issues that incorrect canonicalization of subdirectories can cause in a large site... and I'd recommend you take care of your situation before it becomes a major problem.


 3:45 pm on Jun 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

Let me ask, with the loss of PR, was there also a loss of traffic?

Is it possible that what you are seeing is a "manual" adjustment to interfere with the "visual" in the Toolbar? You mentioned the word Directory and here are my thoughts on what may be happening and I "always" put on me "Tin Hat" when discussing this type of stuff...

Remember the days when everyone was on the Directory Bandwagon? Heck, there are still parts of the world that just learned about that. ;)

The search engines "put up with" directories for the most part. I do believe they appreciate human edited directories and some of those clearly get special treatment at some level.

If you've got a Directory that had PR for quite some time and it is now gone from internal pages, maybe a manual adjustment was done to keep everyone involved from capitalizing on visual PR. Remember, when it comes to Directories, the very first thing most are going to look at is PR. Its a sad state of affairs, but that is what Google created.

If you search for your Directory name and research why it is being mentioned, is it possible that there was a topic somewhere where people were discussing the PR of your internal directory pages? I just have this feeling that with 10,000+ Quality Reviewers, Directories and their activities are monitored regularly. There is probably a checklist of "visual clues" that are addressed when a "good directory" is found.

Bottom line, if your traffic is not affected, I wouldn't be too concerned with it right now. If your technical challenges are addressed, you "should" be fine. I've seen a whole bunch of changes with Toolbar PR in the past 12 months. Heck, when you have sites with no PR showing ahead of sites with PR, you know something isn't quite right. Or, you know what is really going on. :)

Why would PageRank Show On Folders?

That would typically be the default as most are going to link to the root using / instead of /index.html or whatever. I've seen sites that use hard coded /index.html and it appears to interfere with the normal indexing patterns. It becomes a split and takes a bit to figure out. But, with that one extra step (/index.html) something is lost in the process I think. Not a whole lot, but enough to create some challenges.


 5:41 am on Jun 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

So, do you have a rule in place to prevent people from splitting your sub-directory PR?

For Windows...

RewriteRule (.*/)index\.asp $1 [I,RP,L]

The above entry in your .ini or .htaccess (IIS) will force all /index.asp back to the root level /

I don't think you want to leave that open for interpretation. Or, should I say misinterpretation? Just force it to begin with and that is one less thing to worry about.

And yes, if you were cooking along without the /index.asp and then all of sudden someone comes along (an Editor) and decides to do /index.asp with all internal links, that may create a bit of havoc from that point forward. Recalculation time...

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