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Current php site only has homepage high in Google serps but all pages are indexed. In Yahoo and MSN All pages are indexed and good serps (with the traffic that entails.
Many of the pages have Google Page Rank.
What is the best way to re-launch with html pages and still keep benefit of php pages in MSN and Yahoo? and also Google Page Rank.
Any suggestions gratefully received....
If you are planning on just changing the extension of your scripts from php to html, my advice, leave it as php. There is no seo advantage to renaming your pages from .php to .html. File extensions (with the exception of maybe .exe) are irrelevant to search engines. It is the content they care about.
However if you are wishing to have keywords added to the html pages, and hence have one html page per piece of content (ie - 1 php script -> 140 html pages), then I can see some value in that. It is not as important as you may think it is, and Matt Cutts would probably tell you to leave your site as PHP, but if you want to do it, the best thing to use is 301 redirects from the old format to the new format.
A 301 tells the search engines that the old page has moved to a new page, and to now use the new page in place of the old one.
In theory, this protects your rankings, etc.
[edited by: phranque at 6:22 pm (utc) on Dec. 16, 2008]
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Even if you get the pages to look identical to the old versions, which might not be an easy task, and if you get the 301 redirects down perfectly they may still appear different to the search engines.
If you see a page fall out of the search engines give it a few days to see if it returns on its own. I've made updates on pages that were ranked #1 before and had them vanish for a few days before returning to #1. I think it's a Google safety thing, it seems automatic.
That may be the easiest solution. Since you only have 140 pages, you could easily build a manual list of 301 redirects to the new html versions.
Then any new content moving forward would be html already and not need the redirect.
My advice is not to redirect the .php to .html
Keep the .php suffix on your flat pages so in future if and when you decide you do need some server side scripting, you don't have to change back. Just becuase the file type is php doesn't mean that there has to be any php in the page code. Also whether the page is HTML 4 or XHTML is irrelevant.
All the best.