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The pages are already indexed in google and the site is online for few years.
The yahoo index is really bad but the site has PR4. SO I am afraid to change anything because all the urls will change and that can affect ranking and possibly PR - but you will probably say PR is dependable only on links
What should we do?
If you do decide to go for it, keep in mind that the new pages may not rank as well as the old for a while. You may also run into duplicate content problems unless you are careful.
For example, if the current page is page.php?code=widgets, and you rewrite this to widgets.html, then the same content will be available under both URLs. You'll need to do something like:
1. Make sure all on-site links point to widgets.html
2. Copy page.php to newpage.php.
3. Do your rewrite such that widgets.html points to newpage.php?code=widgets
4. In your code for the original page.php, detect if the value for code is widgets, and if so do a 301 redirect to widgets.html
This obviously gets a lot more complicated with multiple arguments and thousands of pages.
We have seen an increase in rankings and traffic, but I'm not sure it was entirely due to the rewrite since we also did alot of site housekeeping at the same time as well. We did see an increase in pages that are now spidered by yahoo and msn which is directly related to the rewrite though.
[edited by: Bewenched at 1:57 pm (utc) on Jan. 23, 2007]
The actual order of implementation differs -- You'd obviously want to do step 2 in preparation for step 1, but the procedure is easier to understand when ordered as shown above.
The final step - redirecting the old dynamic URLs to the new static ones, prevents the duplicate content problems mentioned above by telling the search engines to drop the old dynamic URLs and use the new static URLs.
The procedure for Apache is described in more detail in this thread: Changing Dynamic URLs to Static URLs [webmasterworld.com].
I really do not know why the guy left the url like that.
I am starting doing seo on that site and I think I have to make the urls seo friendly.
YOu have also answered me that there is a session id in urls.
So please can someone explain me what should I tell the designer exactly so we do not mess something up. Please be precise.
I know how to do the redirects and I will put them into htaccess.
I will make a 301 redirect for each of the page to the new page.
How long should the redirects be in the htaccess?