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Ampersands in querystring don't validate - SEO implications?

   
2:14 pm on Dec 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



We're on a Microsoft/ASP site platform (not my choice). Some of our pages bear links to querystring URLs with ampersands separating the various parameters. When these links are coded using the ampersand character the pages will not validate.

If we replace them in the code with the ampersand entity code, "&amp" the links still work fine when the pages are rendered by IE, Firefox and Chrome. The pages also validate.

My question is, does anyone know of any problems with search engines (especially Google) crawling and indexing via links that are coded using the entity code instead of the ampersand character?

Thanks for any input.
5:35 pm on Dec 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



Setting aside the question of what a query string is doing in a hard-coded link at all: Wouldn't you be safer with percent-encoding?
5:53 pm on Dec 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



You should be using & for those.

The browser knows what to do with them.
6:03 pm on Dec 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



You should look into ISAPI_Rewrite for your web server.
8:08 pm on Dec 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Thanks all.

g1smd: Yes indeed. Browsers handle them fine. Is the same true for search spiders?

Lucy and Pete: Don't get me started... Not only is the server platform not my choice, to be honest neither is anything else about the site. Our current web designer and I share acute frustration on a daily basis.

SEO is claimed by the MD to be important, yet he repeatedly approves stuff behind my back. The web designer has inherited a site that has been hacked together by a procession of short-lived designers. No sensible structure or information architecture.

Too many people can change the site and do so without regard for document/site management processes that are in place. In fact, some people seem to deliberately circumvent things such as Sourcesafe... Madness.

Our IT manager *will not* use ISAPI rewrite on the server. Claims some nebulous security issue that prevents him configuring it properly. We had some problems with PCI compliance recently and paranoia now rules the roost.

Also, anything I want done regarding server config the IT manager and server admin play dumb and claim it can't be done. I'm ok on Apache, but I'm no Microsoft server specialist.

a LOT of difficult office politics that are hard to describe here.

Seriously considering just chucking it all and doing freelance full time, but then freelance clients can be almost as difficult.

Thanks again.
8:11 pm on Dec 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



PS. This is a commerce site that gets millions of visitors a month and it's run as if it were someone's hobby.

Drives me nuts.

</rant>
8:22 pm on Dec 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



The web designer has inherited a site that has been hacked together by a procession of short-lived designers. No sensible structure or information architecture.

Too many people can change the site and do so without regard for document/site management processes that are in place.

I could have written that about the site I am editing code for at this very moment.

Luckily it is hosted on Apache and uses PHP, otherwise I wouldn't be touching it at all.
10:38 pm on Dec 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



it's run as if it were someone's hobby.

Drives me nuts.

</rant>

Psst!

[webmasterworld.com...]
9:51 pm on Dec 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



g1smd: *Sigh*... Apache and PHP... heaven.

Lucy: OMG! LOL.
2:36 pm on Dec 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Server.HTMLencode("String")
9:41 am on Dec 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hissingsid, Ha ha! Guess what - our IT dept is "not familiar" with Server.HTMLencode, and shows little curiosity in that direction.

Drat it. We'll just reformat the URLs manually.

Thanks again all.
10:13 am on Dec 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Our current web designer and I share acute frustration on a daily basis

When people don't follow your advice that then affects stuff that you are responsible for (i.e. rankings, visitor satisfaction etc), I'd get out. It always ends in tears.
10:31 am on Dec 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



That course of action gets constant consideration...
 

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