[thelist] Re: Search engines and dynamic sites using query strings

Ben Gustafson cbg3 at earthlink.net
Tue Jan 30 22:23:32 CST 2001

> At 22:14 30/01/2001, Erik Mattheis wrote...
> >It's possible with ColdFusion, and I assume ASP as well.
> It's not possible to do that exactly in 'classic' ASP (not sure about ASP
> 3), the server returns a 404.
> But it looks like this will be able to work in ASP.NET
> Cheers
> mk

Yeah, I noticed this and couldn't figure out how Erik was getting to step
one of splitting the URL on the slashes, since in "classic" ASP you get the
404 before the script can parse the URL.

> From: "Daniel J. Cody" <djc at starkmedia.com>

> we had the same problem when we redesigned the evolt.org site a couple
> months back.. Lots of content, but spiders weren't getting to it because
> of our query string URL's.. We ended up doing our own hack with CF that
> passes every page through a 404 document which grabs URL params out of
> the URL string and passes them to a template that parses the relevant
> info out of them.. So what used to be the spider unfriendly
> http://evolt.org/index.cfm?menu=8&catid=25&cid=4572
> is now the spider happy
> http://www.evolt.org/article/Visiting_The_Ghost/25/4572/index.html
> of course, even though it appears to be a 4 level directory hierarchy,
> none of those directorys(or index.html for that matter) really exist.
> but they exist as a link on a webpage which means a spider will follow
> it and a search engine will index it, which is our goal.

This approach seems like it would solve the problem of always getting a 404
error in ASP before being able to split the URL on the slashes, since the
custom 404 page does the work. One question, though: one script (the 404
page) basically drives the entire evolt site? Doesn't that have an adverse
impact on server performance?


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