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Old 04-15-2004, 07:04 AM   #1
pandager
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Default using 404-page to make dynamic pages static

hi,

i wrote a script for a custom 404 page that would enable me to parse the query string and create the dynamic page out of it. the concept is as follows:

my actual link looks like this:

www.domain.com/process.asp?e=insertinfo&i=001

now i am using this link to a page that does not exist

www.domain.com/topics/a/insertinfo-001.asp

the 404 page that is called is process.asp and looks at the querystring, takes it apart and creates the dynamic page with the respective info for the "e" and "i" values.

the code i wrote works like a charm, i am however wondering if my goal of beeing search engine friendly and readable is achieved by this since the resulting URL is http://domain.com/process.asp?404;ht...rtinfo-001.asp

i have a feeling that i turing in a circle with this solution. would there be a way to set the windows 2003 server up in a way that the nice URL www.domain.com/topics/a/insertinfo-001.asp would be processed to the actual URL immediately? am i totally wrong with this?

i would love to hear back from the pros on this.
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Old 04-15-2004, 08:07 AM   #2
Guava
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Just to clarify...
The old link was
www.domain.com/topics/a/insertinfo-001.asp

Then new correct page is
www.domain.com/process.asp?e=insertinfo&i=001

Or am I reading your post wrong?
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Old 04-15-2004, 08:13 AM   #3
pandager
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the searchengine friendly link is http://domain.com/topics/a/topic-001.asp.
this file does not exists and pulls a 404 error. the 404 handling page parses the error code "404;http://domain.com/topics/a/topic-001.asp" into an asp file (process.asp) and creates the actual site based upon the parameters from the error code to create the actual page using SSI.

i hope i clarified the matter and did not confuse it further
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Old 04-15-2004, 08:33 AM   #4
Guava
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Much clearer.

So are the 404 pages old ones that were moved/deleted/put into a database?

If so then I think your proposed method would work correctly. One catch. If you return an actual 404 Header AT ANY POINT then most SE spiders will believe you. They will think the page is not there and stop advancing through your site or index any content on that page.

Now if you make it so that it goes to the designated 404 script but doesn't actually issue the 404 header then that would work better. It would simply display the correct content for that old/missing link.

Does your URL have to have a semi-colon in it? I just did a quick scan and couldn't find ANY url's in google withn a ; in them. It may think of that as a delimiter and stop reading the URL.

I'm no SE expert so wait until everyone else wakes up to get some more opinions.
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Old 04-15-2004, 08:43 AM   #5
pandager
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hi,

thanks for the feedback - there are no semicolons in the actual URLs, so i should be safe. very comforting to know as i dont want to upset the search engines ...

i will wait a bit before i put the script online and see if any objections arise
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Old 04-15-2004, 08:53 AM   #6
esoomllub
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I implement the very same idea on all of my sites now. I'm not sure this is an issue in your case using IIS/ASP, but I had to also send an HTTP header record to set the status to OK (200). Without that, my dynamically generated pages loaded fine in a browser but still returned a 404 status to the user. Meaning... G did not like to count those pages in my results. Once I changed it to send the 200, G went crazy spidering my site. My solutions are generally Apache/PHP.
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Old 04-15-2004, 09:41 AM   #7
pandager
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thanks for the tip for the 200 http header! checked it and it's returned. so i guess i can safely use this for my 404 error parsing.

thanks for all the tips guys!
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