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Now all 15000 pages we have indexed in the engines produce 404 errors.
How long will it take for the engines to respider my site and reindex it?
Should I step up my link building to speed up the reindexing process?
What else should I do?
All help and advice appreciated. Never been through this before. Nerves are shaking like my heart is beating faster than a roller coaster!
It's my opinion that this is a giant band-aid solution to the problem. The *correct* method (again, IMO) of converting your CFM links to ASPX is by doing 301 redirects, that's why the 301 was made: to provide a way to alert anything that checks the server header response a way to know that the link they are visiting has been permanently replaced by a new link.
In the end, there may not be anything WRONG with just having .NET process your CFM pages, but I don't believe it's RIGHT either. It just seems like a really half hearted attempt.
I'm willing to hear the other side of the story.
On top of that, 301s produce an extra trip to the server, thus reducing page load time and increasing server load.
Most operating systems do not use file extentions to convey meta data for a file (In fact I thik CP/M, from which Windows is derived is the only one), even then IIS does not use that concept because HTTP itself doesn't use it. Therefore, it's completely unnecessary. In fact, Tim Berners-Lee specifically recommends that webmasters do not use file extentions (or at least file extentions that convey the programming language used which is the case with the .aspx extention)(2). He also says URIs should not change.
the .aspx extention is completely arbitrary. If you're really wanting to convery the nature of the document with an extention then using .html for your ASP.Net generated HTML would be a much better choice.
Remapping the file extention is benign, it causes no disruption, it causes no extra overhead on the server, no extra maintainence or programming which is a lot more than can be said for using redirects.