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We are using mod_rewrite on a project at the moment and currently have URL's following a basic format such as:
My question is, is there any advantage to adding a file extensions to the URL such as
Is there any advantage for the user or the search engine in using an extension and creating an impression of viewing 'a page'?
Personally - I like to customise the extension to the site - perhaps a site about Widgets would have pages ending in .widget... probably SEO benefit as well as a chance for added branding.
Personally I think this is very wrong, and my experience is that if your page generates html, give it an .html ending...
I also have non-conclusive evidence that this actually helps your SEO ranking with Google these days. And not just marginally, but by a good percentage.
There is also the benefit of not confusing anyone or anything [spiders,bots,crawlers] of whether URL /cat/sub[/] is a page or a folder. Most of them will try to add an ending '/' to see if they can get into it deeper. And if you do not have the proper mod_rewrite rules set, you are going to have duplicate content. Yes, Google is smart enough to figure it out, but you will still get penalized a bit.