Search Engine Bytes
 by Casey Markee

Q&A

How do SE's treat Active Server Pages (.asp)
...is there any to get them indexed?

Question:

We have subscribed to your site for several years and appreciate the invaluable information you provide. However, I have a question that I have not seen addressed in your book or newsletters.

Can web sites that have been created with ASP (Active Server Pages) be indexed in the search engines and do they get results, or is it a problem like frames?

Answer:

The problem isn't the .asp file extension, it's the extra variables that database and other systems need in the url to "serve" the active server pages to the site visitor. In other words, it's the ?, =, and other variable characters that the SE's choke on when they attempt to index these pages.

This means you can indeed get the SE's to index a page like http://www.domain.com/products.asp

...however most engines will not index a page like http://www.domain.com/products.asp?id=501&userid=234.

Lycos is the exception, they are the only major SE that will spider and index urls with the ? and = characters.

Some sites using UNIX and Perl make use of the MOD_REWRITE module to convert the "?" and "=" signs to "/" so the engines will index them... Amazon is one of them. It's likely there is a similar way to do this in VBScript but we haven't yet researched it. I suspect we will learn something now that we've written about it and if we collect any further useful information from the "genius programmers" that read this publication we'll tell you about it next month.

Hope this gives you some ideas,

Best regards,

johnsig.gif

John Heard
Planet ...

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