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Home page discrepencies

How should the link be formatted?

     
8:23 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm working with a web developer that has done a complete revision of a website. The site is using xml content management and the pages are in php.

Previously, the home page that was formatted as www.thesite.com/index.htm
had a page rank of 2 (I think).

Now the home page is a index.php page. Therefore, he created a index.htm that will redirect to index.php.

He has told me that the "server precidence" is probably set to index.htm, then index.php. My thought is that we should remove the index.htm entirely. Agreed? The redirect may be looked down upon by the SE.

But what about my PR that is existing. Will it be lost?

Ideas?

10:56 am on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

He has told me that the "server precidence" is probably set to index.htm, then index.php.

He is correct.PR is attributed to a specific page so to a specific url address.

My thought is that we should remove the index.htm entirely. Agreed? The redirect may be looked down upon by the SE.

To keep the .htm page could be justifyed only if the previous .htm page brought you good traffic (it hasn't effect on PR)

But what about my PR that is existing. Will it be lost?

Of course.But I wouldn't be worried for a PR 2 or so.It's easy to "recover" it.Just repeat your index page inbound links on the new url address.

12:27 pm on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thank you for your comments.

I agree that the PR of "merely 2" should be easy to get back. I guess I should not worry about it.

Let's assume that I am going to remove the index.htm and just put up an index.php. (Which is probably what we will do.) If someone types in www.mysite.com, they will go straight to the index.php, right?

But what if they have a bookmark to www.mysite.com/index.htm? Will the "server precedence" move them over to index.php?

If not, how do I handle this?

12:28 pm on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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use mod_rewrite and map index.htm over index.php
12:48 pm on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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But what if they have a bookmark to www.mysite.com/index.htm? Will the "server precedence" move them over to index.php?

Keep your index.htm redirect page.It doesn't hurt you in any way.

6:43 pm on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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IMO, best thing to do is to consistently reference just the domain name without an index file. The server auto-magically serves up the index.php when it gets a request for the domain name www.thesite.com - the user (and search engine robots) have no idea of the actual file name of index.php or index.html, etc. since it is handled transparently.

If you go through your site and make sure that there are no links to "index.*" and all links to your home page just reference your domain name, then you'll never have an issue about pagerank being split between your bare domain name (from incoming links) and your index.* file (from internal links) - Google can see these as separate pages with duplicate content.

5:41 pm on Apr 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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So having a redirect from index.htm to index.php is not a problem with the search engines?

It was my understanding that the search engines look down on any redirects? Isn't that in Google's Terms of Service? Am I missing something here?

Do search engines understand the difference between a "Good redirect" and a "bad redirect"?

6:25 pm on Apr 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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He has told me that the "server precidence" is probably set to index.htm, then index.php

There shouldn't be any probably. If he's the web developer, he should know how it's set.

Best bet, have him rename the index.php and any other php pages .htm (your original page names) and set the server to parse htm pages as php. (As a web developer he should know how to do this or get this done.) No redirects, no losing links, no losing bookmarks.

8:01 pm on Apr 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'd do what Roberto is recommending. Have all links pointing back to your "index" point to the root of the site instead. Then you wont have this issue in the future, and you wont trip the dupe content filter if people are linking to www.sitename.com instead of www.sitename.com/index.php (or .htm)

And yes, I would remove the index.htm completely, unless you've got people linking to it, in which case setup a 301 redirect to the root of the site. Also, you might want to change the servers "default page" to index.php so that everyone who hits your site doesn't need to redirect through .htm

8:52 pm on Apr 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I was leaning toward removing the htm file because I was afraid of the search engines seeing this as a redirect and "shady".

As Google (direct quote) says...

Quality Guidelines - Specific recommendations:
Don't employ cloaking or sneaky redirects.

My question is...

If I leave the .htm redirecting to the .php, could this be mistaken for a "sneaky redirect"?

Any thoughts?

1:52 pm on Apr 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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You should be fine if you use a 301.
2:25 pm on Apr 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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OK. So don't have a page, just a 301 redirect, right?
2:39 pm on Apr 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Yeah if you can make do without the actual index.htm you'll be better off because then you can have it redirect to root and it will source the index.php automatically.