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    Question Long Dynamic URLs - how to fix?


    Hi guys

    Newbie here and looking for a little help.

    I'm trying to fix my website for SEO and get more traffic.

    Something I keep coming across is warnings about dynamic URLs which are too long and have parameters.

    Only, I don't know how to fix it. They're necessary and as short as possible.

    For example, for my site which is a social site:

    /profiles/search.asp?postcode=AB12&distance=123&this=that&so mething=something

    This are the parameters necessary for searching. They define the content of the page, filtering through our member database.

    If I use a simple post form instead of GET, then I lose the querystring which allows people to use the Back button (and also bookmark their favourite searches).

    Honestly don't know how to fix this issue. Yes the URLs are long, yes they have parameters. But will search engines (Google in particular) punish me for this? Or not at all?

    Thanks
    Matt
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  3. Dinosaur
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    This one is complicated for many reasons.
    Firstly are the parameters from user input, so does it require a user to type anything in order for these parameters to be tagged on to the url ? if yes then google is never going to get to them.
    If they are filters so you have a main page which users can drill down into the content then a simple canonical tag to the page showing all the results is the answer.

    You could also look at url rewriting but looks like from your example you could be using classic asp and I am unsure if thats available, it maybe but the last time I used asp it was not an option.
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    Hi Chedders, thanks for replying.

    Yes it's classic ASP but runs in a server farm/failover cluster, which means URL rewrite doesn't work (don't ask me why, it's just one of the restrictions sadly).

    The parameters are like age from, age to, distance, postcode, eye colour, height, male/female, with/without photo, etc etc etc.

    Not sure if I am allowed to post a link, so please delete if not....
    www.bikermatch.co.uk/profiles/search.asp is where you can start. Every time you change an option it changes the URL (Ajax changes the search results though).

    I don't care about indexing all the results pages, as long as the root search.asp page gets good ranking.
    So if someone searches for "find local bikers near me" or whatever, that it will show my search page.

    Hope that makes sense.

    Thanks
    Matt
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    Few minutes ago I came across the canonical meta tag.
    Would it be an idea to include that tag on the page and just point it to search.asp
    So that no matter what parameters are added, they all point back to the search page?
    Or maybe i DO want google to index the pages, so people in specific towns can look for "bikers in *town name* "
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  9. Dinosaur
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    Personally I would use the canonical tag to point to the main search.asp page
    All the profile pages I would place in a sitemap if there is no other way of getting to them and submit that to google.

    As I said it was a while ago I used classic asp but I remember there being many problems like you are currently facing.
    One other slight issue which I am sure you have covered but watch out for SQL injections if its a old system. asp is ripe for that type of attack if not handled correctly.
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    Thanks again. I'm actually CEH trained so have all the SQL injection covered (using stored procedures and parameters). I had to stick with the classic asp just because I'm a one-man-band and it's the only language I know really well. .net is nice but I get headaches trying to debug it. One day I'll migrate, I keep promising myself lol.

    The profiles are linked from here and there. Homepage, event attendees lists, forum posts etc, so they'll get picked up anyhow.

    Do you know if Google punishes just for having parameters?
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  13. Dinosaur
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    No google wont punish you, after all they use them themselves.
    There are just better ways of doing things now. I had a quick look again at the site and yes there seems many ways to the profiles,

    However I would seriously have a think about upgrading to .net, you can use VB if that is your language of choice, personally I prefer C# as I have that in my DNA from when I started coding a life time ago.
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