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Author Topic: SEO and file extensions.  (Read 3411 times)

kitz

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SEO and file extensions.
« on: February 06, 2014, 06:29:25 PM »

Before I go into too much depth.
Does anyone know anything about SEO and the effects of changing file extensions.

Yes I know you can do 301 redirects, but with one heck of a lot of files to cope with, the list is going to be verrrrrrrrry long.  :-\
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kitz

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Re: SEO and file extensions.
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2014, 07:01:35 PM »

Whilst posting you can also give opinion on something Ive been working on when I have a free minute.

Im getting a tad bored with the existing menu on the main site.   It was written in javascript several years ago especially for the site, but In my mind the concertina style now looks a bit dated and now that more and more people are using mobile devices, I wanted something that didnt rely so heavily on javascript.

Ive taken an idea from an opensource javascript, and rewritten it php and as it uses CSS so should hopefully work on just about any platform.    They way Ive written it, it just needs one line of php to be inserted into each page..  and voila the menu appears.
This is much nicer than pasting hundreds of lines of javascript into each page.

Obviously, that means changing each page from htm to php.  I am mostly now writing dynamic pages in php, so it follows that this would be the way forward.    Problem is..    I have 100's of pages that will all lose their inbound links if I dont use 301's.

Was wondering if anyone has ever converted to extensionless urls, which I see quite a few sites beginning to use.

If you want a sneaky preview of the new menu style..  you can see it in action here.
Do you agree it looks better than the existing menu?
 Obviously it wouldnt be green though, thats just been where Ive been playing to test the code.
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roseway

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Re: SEO and file extensions.
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2014, 07:39:39 PM »

Yes, the new menu style is much more attractive, and functionally better as well, I think.
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burakkucat

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Re: SEO and file extensions.
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2014, 10:07:22 PM »

Having taken a quick look at the new style menu and compared it with the existing site menu, then there is no contest!

The former is a great improvement over the latter.  :)
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tonyappuk

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Re: SEO and file extensions.
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2014, 11:08:41 PM »

I agree.
Tony
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Berrick

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Re: SEO and file extensions.
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2014, 02:01:57 PM »

 :thumbs: I like the new menu.

Can't you just run a script to rename the files?
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kitz

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Re: SEO and file extensions.
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2014, 11:36:46 AM »

Thanks for the comments.

Yes I can rename the file extensions.  What concerns me though is the effect on SEO having changed them.

The sites been going for 10years now and I have an awful lot of inbound links all over the interwebs that I have no control over.   Those links will result in 404s, as will any pages book marked by anyone.   This will also be very damaging for any search engine results, who will see it as a brand new page and ill lose any ranking.

You can do a 301 re directive which greatly lessens the damage, as far as bookmarks and old inbound links are concerned, although it still apparently leaves some residual damage with the likes of google - who apparently can penalise.   This is because of misuse of 301s in the past by unscrupulous SEO optimising ype agencies/persons, using it to exploit what it's really there for.

I'm also not looking forward to compiling 301s for a few hundred pages.  :(

I believe there is another option and that's getting my server to do all the work.  Apparently apache there's an apache command that can be issued that forces my server to parse and treat any HTML pages as if they were in the language you specify.   This seems like it may be a way forward, but one of the downsides it additional load on the server, as from from what I understand,  pages are parsed server side rather than the more normal client side (ie the browser).

As the interwebs progress, more sites are now becoming dynamic for various reasons which is why larger sites are now moving to extensionless pages.  It becomes a real pita when technologies change.   When the site started I used cgi, because that was the way then to write any server sides, I gradually moved to php and used 301 redirects but not that many pages were involved.
Extensions are a pita, what with .htm .html. .php .jsp .asp .cgi (and more).  The actual content may remain the same, the page name may still be the same,but as far as google and browsers are concerned, change the extension and its a brand new page.

I'm not sure yet if I fully understand extensionless pages as doing this it itself could cause work (when I suss out how to do it), but I can understand why the larger sites are now doing this when different technologies such as jsp and asp make way for new languages.   Get the hard work over and done with once and for all.     Certain mobile devices ( ie apple) not allowing certain scripts and extensions which many sites use for menus is another headache

Php though will (hopefully) be around a long time because its used by a lot of forum software and cms systems.

Anyhow the crux is making a decision on which way to progress now, and what effect it will have on the site for inbound links.  It may seem simples for a team of web developers, but I'm just a jack of all trades, master of none, doing what I can  :D

 
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