I am sure I have read this somewhere, but can't find it anymore... ... and I apologise if I ended up in the wrong forum...
While I understand that links like this one "/show.asp?topic=1" need some work, I'd still like to ask, which URL design to chose
1. My pages follow this pattern "/show.asp?topic=1" 2. I am getting duplicate meta / title notifications, because someone / something links to my site like this: "/?topic=1" 3. In light of the possibility of me changing to a .php extension, it might be actually a good idea to promote the shorter version "/?topic=1" which would work no matter, whether the page is driven by ASP or PHP.
Nota bene: the PHP idea is taking shape due to the limits of URL rewriting in ASP...
... still, any pointers / feedback appreciated on how to go about the two versions of URL design
>>the PHP idea is taking shape due to the limits of URL rewriting in ASP...
it's not php that allows URL rewriting it's the apache webserver which makes it easy, if you were running asp on apache then i imagine you'd have the same rewriting capability. it is available on IIS but is more complex and requires third party software to be installed.
the common advise today is to avoid using an 'extension' if possible at all. so in your case /?topic=1 but then if you are going to rewrite url's why not /topic/1
shared hosted server = can't install apps, etc. hence, ASP on Apache would not work either in this environment.
noticing the two URL variations, I appreciate the extension-less version is the better one... and the one I should start promoting / implementing
step two, once complete will lead to an easier migration to PHP. It has a .htaccess allowing to rewrite without any DLLs.
This leads to further, though related questions: a) Do I simply change the URLs and leave it to time to fix it? b) E.g. would Google simply detect the short version and drop the long URL? c) Or do I need to redirect show.asp?topic=n to /?topic=n with a 301?
i'd say - how old is the site? how long have the pages been up? if it is very new and there are no incoming links to the deep pages then i don't see the point of 301's, although you must ensure in this case that the old url's are 404's