Msg#: 3511244 posted 5:45 pm on Nov 22, 2007 (gmt 0)
If you are substantially rebuilding the site, then changing a file name or twenty is the least of your worries.
301s can help, but are not guaranteed, especially if there are major content changes.
Virtually invariably, leaving things as they are will be much better than any change; a new 'se friendly' name will take years to compensate for value lost as a result of a site re-org.
If the change is vital, then minimize the damage by doing it in sections; that may, successive SE spiders can assimilate new content without the 'shock' of what appears (to them!) to be a totally new site.
Msg#: 3511244 posted 6:26 pm on Nov 22, 2007 (gmt 0)
> short term drop
Not necessarily short -- A month to a year, as reported here.
Be aware the the names of your files need not have anything to do with the URLs used to serve the content of those files; You can use mod_rewrite on Apache or ISAPI Rewrite on IIS to map any set of URLs to any set of filenames. Therefore the choice of URLs has nothing to do with the file structure used to store/organize your site on your server.
A word from Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the hyperlink: [w3.org...]