Page rank and http:// and http://www.

quentin

Habitué
Joined
Feb 11, 2004
Messages
1,989
you have to realize that the PR showing in the toolbar does not mean the two pages are actually separated.
The only way to be sure two pages are separated is to see them both in the same SERP.
Most of the time google figures http:// and http://www or / and /index.php/html/whatever are the same.

I think the toolbar is able to understand that all these URLs are known (if not it would show the gray bar for some of them), but only has a PR value associated with one, and "guesses" the PR to show for the others.
There's a lot of toolbar guessing happenning.
For example the page for this thread is not in google's index yet:
http://66.102.9.104/search?sourceid...theadminzone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4607
Still, it has a non-gray PR in the toolbar (of 0), which is probably guessed from the root PR + the filename + the number of parameters in the query string.

Anyway, I would not worry about the www or /index.php problems too much (that is, unless if you can actually make both pages appear in the same SERP, by for example searching for a peace of text from the page), google is smart enough to figure this sort of easy things.
 

Joe

bikeforums.net
Joined
Jan 10, 2004
Messages
468
I disagree, IMHO (nobody really knows), Google sees domain.com, www.domain.com and www.domain.com/index.php as 3 different pages. The one that gets shown on google is the one that is best optimized, or has the most links pointing to it. This is proven by some affiliate links, i have seen "www.domain.com/index.php?referrerid=XXXXX" rank higher then simply www.domain.com, as the referrerid URL had better SEO, or was linked to from higher PR sites.

As for the reason your index.php? has any PR at all? Chances are that your guest members (such as googlebot), see a link to domain.com/index.php in your navagation (navbar template for vB). This is the default setup in vbulletin! You may also have some outside links pointing to index.php or index.php[sessionhash], nothing you can do about thoes, so just ignore them, or ask thoes sites to link to domain.com, no index.php

So, how to "fix" it? Simply change your navbar template from $vboptions[forumhome].php?$session[sessionurl]" to www.domain.com for guests. Members can still use the session URL, but guests have no need for a sessionhash, so you might as well optimize your internal link structure as best as posible.
 

quentin

Habitué
Joined
Feb 11, 2004
Messages
1,989
Google sees domain.com, www.domain.com and www.domain.com/index.php as 3 different pages. The one that gets shown on google is the one that is best optimized, or has the most links pointing to it.
When you search for some text that is present on only very few pages, google returns all pages in the index with that text. Pick some text that is specific to your home page, and double-quote search it. If only one page is returned, then domain.com , www.domain.com and www.domain.com/index.html have been "merged" in google's index, or 3 different pages would show up.

This is proven by some affiliate links, i have seen "www.domain.com/index.php?referrerid=XXXXX" rank higher then simply www.domain.com, as the referrerid URL had better SEO, or was linked to from higher PR sites.
This is different from what i said. I said google was smart enough to merge www.domain.com and www.domain.com/index.html and sometimes domain.com, not whatever duplicate content URLs could exist.
Finding duplicate content is one of SE's most complicated challenges.
Using 301 redirects doesn't cost anything anyway, and can "help" google merge pages appropriately, especially in the case where a duplicate page would have an unsimilar url. An other case that can create a problem is if your index is updated very often with a lot of different content, when google will visit domain.com and www.domain.com the content on the page can be different and have the pages slip out the similarity filter.

There are cases where google manages to merge pages appropriately, and cases where it doesn't.

For example look at this:

http://www.google.com/search?q="Dis...mmunity"&hl=en&lr=&c2coff=1&safe=off&filter=0

Apparently, google has identified
http://www.theadminzone.com/forums/index.php
http://www.theadminzone.com/forums/
and http://theadminzone.com/forums/index.php
as different pages... which is not great.
However, http://theadminzone.com/forums/index.php? , which is the url linked to from all pages, has been merged to the one without the ?. Still the PR toolbar is different for index.php and index.php? , just because it guesses the ? page PR from the other one.

In the case of rooshine's forum:
http://www.google.com/search?q="fun...ttended"&hl=en&lr=&c2coff=1&safe=off&filter=0

you can see that
http://whistlestopper.com
and http://www.whistlestopper.com are present as two different pages.
However, http://www.whistlestopper.com/index.php , which should normally appear, since it is linked with this URL from all the forum pages, seem to have been correctly merged into the / one.

There are plenty of examples where this does happen (generally with pages that are updated a lot:
http://www.google.com/search?q=site...+a+few+"&hl=en&lr=&c2coff=1&safe=off&filter=0

Doing quick searches will reveal that most of the time google is good at merging index pages to /, while it is not that good at merging domain.com into www.domain.com.
 

Joe

bikeforums.net
Joined
Jan 10, 2004
Messages
468
I'm not going to break down each comment one by one, we are both on the same page, debating things that nether can prove when it comes to goggles algorithm,

I'll just keep it simple, ultimately, having inconsistent links, both external and internal is not good for SEO. If you are having all your external link partners link to www.domain.com, why have your internal links point to www.domain.com/index.php ? Put up that 301 redirect to get rid of the non-www URLS, and make the change in your navbar template so all internal links match the external links, then you wont have this problem:

quentin said:
 

DChapman

Devotee
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
2,879
I'm having a VERY strange issue with my root .htaccess file. It seems every now and then it just resets itself and the 301 redirect goes away. I noticed today that the redirect was not live so I oepned up the file and the only thing there was:

Code:
Options +FollowSymLinks
What could cause this?
 

Marc Smith

The Old Geezer
Joined
Apr 20, 2004
Messages
393
quentin said:
Using 301 redirects doesn't cost anything anyway, and can "help" google merge pages appropriately, especially in the case where a duplicate page would have an unsimilar url.
I can't say I know much about SEO, but I read a bit here and there. In 1996 I started a site as qs9000.com. About 2000 I changed to 16949.com (these are 'specifications' I work with) but kept it so that all calls to qs9000.com would go to 16949.com without a redirect. Actually, at the time I was on a Verio 'virtual' managed server and they did the setup. About 2 years ago I decided to take a unique domain name - Elsmar.com, and phase out qs9000.com and 16949.com. But - I found that there were so many links to qs9000.com and 16949.com that I did the same thing - all three domains take you to the same site. Finally, a year ago I got a dedicated server and the setup was up to me. I had a guy help, and he suggested I do a mod_rewrite so that everything was redirected to elsmar.com *without* a 301 redirect. One site, 3 domain names, 1 IP. Traffic started climbing. One one SEO forum I was told I had my head up my you know what - that this was stupid - that I should use a 301. So, in August of 2004 I did. And traffic plummeted to below what it was last January. And my SE listings went way down. In October I changed back to using a redirect through mod_rewrite without a 301 and after Google did their late October update traffic started picking up and is now back to what it was before I put in the 301. And it is increasing as it was before I did the 301. And my SE rankings have gone back up.

What does this mean? I don't know. I'm not an SEO expert. But I do know what I see traffic wise is good and I won't try a 301 redirect again.

I also dump the www prefix. My mod_rewrite is:
Code:
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^qs9000.com$ 
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://Elsmar.com$1 [L]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.qs9000.com$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://Elsmar.com$1 [L]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^16949.com$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://Elsmar.com$1 [L]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.16949.com$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://Elsmar.com$1 [L]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.elsmar.com$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://Elsmar.com$1 [L]
Again, I'm not an SEO expert and I may be doing this all wrong, but it works for me.
 

Kevin

Oooh, something shiny!
Joined
Jul 13, 2004
Messages
3,440
For those running VB, you can also put the 301 redirect in your phpinclude_start section of your style.
 

Marc Smith

The Old Geezer
Joined
Apr 20, 2004
Messages
393
That works if your site is only vBulletin. In my case I have many, many pages other than the vB forums so that wouldn't help.
 

Kevin

Oooh, something shiny!
Joined
Jul 13, 2004
Messages
3,440
Marc Smith said:
That works if your site is only vBulletin. In my case I have many, many pages other than the vB forums so that wouldn't help.
... didn't say it was a universal answer.
 

Marc Smith

The Old Geezer
Joined
Apr 20, 2004
Messages
393
I know. Just clarifying for those that may not be as familiar with how the whole puzzle fits together.
 
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