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I'm doing volunteer work for a .org who needs to improve search engine visibility. One area that concerns me is that all of their "vanilla" top level domains are redirected by the server to more complex pathnames which then show in the location window of the browser.
If a request is made for www.maindomain.org it maps to maindomain.org/app/index.htm. There is no actual document at ourdomain.org/index.htm
They own many domain names -- each with unique content. But server-side redirects are set to take www.domain2.org to maindomain.org/domain2/index.htm
They use a MS IIS4 webserver, which they tell me has a standard feature to do this mapping.
Can anyone tell me how this affects spiders?
1) if you submit the toplevel page, then the spider hits it for the first time and follows it on down - this is normally ok.
2) Say you submit the lower or last page in the redirect chain. The spider grabs it and indexes it - this is normally ok.
The problem arises on #2 when the spider runs into a link for the top level page and attempts to spider it. It gets complicated and different with each engine at this point. Inktomi will generally not mind any server redirects. Alta, not crazy about them and good luck trying to generate referrals off a redirect page. Google will just dig down to the lowest page and index it.
Then there are engines like Fast and Excite that will often stop dead at the first sign of a redirect. They do like full Move Perm errors but not a bare redirect.
Short story, get the lowest and last page in the chain indexed. If you've already got those top level page indexed - try to avoid resubmitting them.
In further conversations, I've discovered that the main reason for this redirect mapping was easier cookie admin. Thanks to your input, we looked for and found another way to do the cookies, and will try to avoid the redirect complications.
Keep It Simple, right?
>Keep It Simple, right?
/kree'ping fee'chr-izm/ /n./
1. Describes a systematic tendency to load more features onto systems at the expense of whatever elegance they may have possessed when originally designed.
2. More generally, the tendency for anything complicated to become even more complicated because "It would be EVEN BETTER if it had this feature too". When creeping featurism gets out of hand, it's like a cancer, and can cause failure. Usually this term is used to describe computer programs, but it could also be said of the federal government, and new cars. A similar phenomenon sometimes afflicts conscious redesigns; known as "creeping elegance".