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  1. #1
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    I just rebuilt a site from static html pages to a database php site. Almost all of the old urls have changed.

    I created a 404 page to let visitors know I changed the site navigation and I present the new navigation to them.

    My concern is the search engines. How long will it take for the search engines to spider the new pages and drop the old ones ? I understand they are a little slow to drop 404 pages from the index.

    Is there something I can do with a 302 redirect ?

    The site wasn't performing very well but I was hoping to shake things up for the Christmas rush.

  2. #2
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    Google for one puts in suplemental results long after the page has been gone. You can do redirects but I've found vistors aren't willing to search around looking for things. They expect it here and now. If it isn't a benefit to them than who does it benefit? I don't need traffic I need buyers. That said there are still ways to make money with 404's but it's up to you how creative you want to be. Maybe your success depends on it.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    .htaccess

  4. #4
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    How would you use .htacess ?

    I don't think I can/want to go the .htaccess route. There isn't a simple mapping I could do since it was much more than a file extension change, and I have way to many pages to map them individually.

    Right now the 404 page is essentially a site map, so users can get to where they want as quick as possible.

    Apparently it does take a while for 404s to go away. The SE's give webmasters the benefit of a doubt that maybe they coded a link wrong and will fix it soon.

    Oh well. As I said the particular site was not performing well so a revamp was in order and the 404's won't mater much.

  5. #5
    http and a telephoto
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    Set your 404 to go to your site's new index page. That is what I would/will do. I have been using a custom page, but my index page is the page that leads people to the rest of the site, so it makes sense to send them there.

    I use htaccess file to redirect to the index page.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  6. #6
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    I run a script on my 404 page to gather the referrer info and search my database for that query. Meaning the 404 page lands them on what they were looking for. It's a project another member (Pete) and I worked on two years ago. I've since perfected it quite a bit but the idea is all the same.

    Guess you could say we pioneered a basic form of adsense type technology. (pat on my back lol)

  7. #7
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    Heyder,
    I could easily parse out the keywords since my old file names were keyword based. I could use Loxly's method for the "else" part.

    Thanks All,

  8. #8
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    I changed web hosting companies 4 months ago - forgot to configure my 404 page settings then!!! I am such an idiot - this post reminded me to check... last 3 weeks logs show 1,800 404 errors!!! OMG - letting that much traffic slip through my net proves (1) I'm an idiot (but trainable) and (2) ABW is a good place to be reminded of the basics!!! Checking 404 errors in logs now added to my calendar as recurring task!

    But need some help now anyways...

    Many 404's were obvious [and I removed from from the list below including one page I renamed myself (totally stupid)] - can I get an assist on what these others are from so I can know if a simple redirect to my home page / site map isn't the ideal solution for all 404's:

    404: Not Found 1,813 100.00%
    /favicon.ico 1,288 71.04%
    /robots.txt 192 10.59%
    /_vti_bin/owssvr.dll 34 1.88%
    /MSOffice/cltreq.asp 34 1.88%
    /default.ida 18 0.99%
    /cgi-bin/openwebmail/userstat.pl 4 0.22%
    /trino/ProxyJ/prxjdg.cgi 4 0.22%

    Not a disaster, but not healthy situation - of total traffic for the last 3 weeks, these 404's represent 0.033% of hits.

    Tell me about all 7 above if you can - if not, those first two are the most important to me...
    /favicon.ico
    /robots.txt

    I don't even know what favicon.ico is and who's hitting it? I thought an ico file was graphic icon image used for desktop and menu shortcuts... why are visitors expecting to find one of those here?

    And for robots.txt, I've been putting robots-follow meta-tag instructions on my html pages themselves... what should be in the robots.txt file itself? Send me a good one? And from the name here from my logs, can I correctly assume that the robots.txt file always belongs in my root directory (if I had one)?

    ...

  9. #9
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Guess I'll just research and answer my own questions...

    so, about the favicon.ico file - here's what I've learned since my last post here:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I'm seeing favicon.ico requests in my web site's error_log. What does this mean?
    It means people are coming to my site and bookmarking it. Since I have not created the favicon.ico image the web browser is looking for, the web server reports this in its error_log.
    (And since I don't have one for my site - the browser is using the browser's default shortcut image - the blue E for Internet Explorer)

    Favicon (pronounced fav-eye-con) is short for 'Favorites Icon'

    Example:
    http://www.yahoo.com/favicon.ico

    The required size of a shortcut icon is 16x16 pixels.

    After creating the icon, you must associate it with your Web page. One way is to save the icon with the default file name of favicon.ico in the root directory of your domain—for example, www.microsoft.com/favicon.ico. Each time your Web page is added to a user's favorites, Internet Explorer automatically searches for this file and places the icon next to all the favorites and quick links originating from your site.

    What if my ISP does not support favicons?
    You can also associate the icon with your Web page by saving the icon with a file name other than favicon.ico and adding a line of HTML code in the head section of your Web document. The line of code includes a link tag that specifies the location and name of the file. You can include this link tag on a per-page basis.
    <HEAD>
    <LINK REL="SHORTCUT ICON" HREF="http://www.mydomain.com/myicon.ico">
    <TITLE>My Title</TITLE>
    </HEAD>

    What is an ico file?
    An ico file is actually a repository of bitmap like images. They are used because in some locations a 16x16 pixel image is desired, and sometimes a 32x32 image may be needed. Sometimes a 16 color image is desired, and sometimes a 256 color icon is desired. This repository is scanned for the image size/color count appropriate for the location and the computer's color capability. If the image is not ideal, it may be compressed, expanded, and/or colors may be modified producing unexpected results.

    Isn't an ICO file just a renamed BMP?
    NO. Although some people have said an ico is a BMP, this is not true. Think of an ICO file as a repository of BMP images. It has its own format. If you have a 16x16 bmp you want to convert, use a program designed for the creation of favicons, or hire someone to do it for you!

    The answers are all here:
    http://www.thesitewizard.com/archive/favicon.shtml
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    So, my server logs were telling me that people are bookmarking my site - GREAT! I'm going to create a favicon.ico image because...

    If they're bookmarking it, I want to make that bookmark more memorable and make it stand out. It'll have it's own image whether saved to Favorites or as a shortcut on their desktop.

    It'll make my site appear more professional as well.


    THis is an extrememly small detail to care about... but anyone joining me?

    ...

  10. #10
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Donuts,

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    THis is an extrememly small detail to care about... but anyone joining me?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Small detail to care about?........

    Well..... It all depends on what you think about your site.

    Since it's not easy to post the few logos that I can post here to show you an example, I will just ask you this:...... what do you think when you see this on a site: ©, ®´, ¥, etc.

    Just imagine this..... since you're (Donuts) on ABW, let's suppose that you're selling Donuts on your site and you want people to remember your site.

    You make a 16x16 pixel image favicon.ico that looks like a donut and put it on your site root, now every time someone bookmark your site, they will see a donut image in their favorites folder, instead of the blue E for Internet Explorer icon.
    Sal.

  11. #11
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    When I said it was a small detail, I meant for others. My A/R nature means that no detail is too small. See my site reviews here at ABW for proof. 10 years operating nuclear reactors on submarines... I AM a details guy. Nothing my visitors sees is meaningless. But, why stoke others here who seemingly don't care... no one answered my post... I was downplaying it...

    And my research into the graphic I posted is also proof that I'm all over it!!!

    And my news on this front? ONE email to my favorite graphics guy - alexbet.com (see special ABW discount here at ABW) - Wham, Bam, Thank You Mam! He created the required graphics file - it actually has 4 images nested within it that follow the guidelines of the favicon.ico function - (16 colors or 256 colors) times (16x16 pixels or 32x32 pixels) - Browsers automatically use the right image (of the 4).

    And it totally rocks!!!!

    Save a shortcut to desktop - looks great!
    Add to favorites - looks great!
    Didn't know this beforehand, but go to my site and the logo also appears in the address bar on the left of the Address box that everyone sees (I use IE so there's usually a little blue e there - but not now!)
    I hear Mozilla, Opera and Safari also pick up my favicon.ico in differing ways.

    AlexBet made my site logo before - today, he sent me a new favicon.ico - so it ain't a hack job like the graphics I make on my own. He amde it look GREAT and he did it in less than an hour - and the dude wasn't even at home in his office.

    I am very happy with the impact.

    Windows also automatically found my shortcut to my site (that I have saved in a folder on my desktop) and replaced the ugly nasty boring repetitive big blue e-blob with a super-cool mini version of my logo!!!!

    I love AlexBet's work. And I love bouncing ideas here at ABW - I learn and gain little steps over my competitors and improve my impact to customers / visitors. I have a "bookmark me" type thing on every page - my 404 logs uncovered this situation for me - that I had a missing element. I hunted it down and stabbed it right in the freaking neck. Little thing I found. But very pleasant, easy fix that adds one more tiny little improvement. If it makes just a few more visitors return or remember my site, it'll be worth the cost.

    Cost = $0 - AlexBet resizes any logos he does for you for life! I hope he doesn't get bombed for ico requests now. But hey, like I said - maybe I'm just a stickler for details... and others won't bother... I'm kinda counting on that in more ways than this little thing...

    :-)

  12. #12
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Now, back to root of topic posted here...

    My 404 logs show robots.txt...

    ... for robots.txt, I've been putting robots-follow meta-tag instructions on my html pages themselves... what should be in the robots.txt file itself? Send me a good one? And from the name here from my logs, can I correctly assume that the robots.txt file always belongs in my root directory (if I had a robots.txt file)?

    little help here?

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador swampy_webber's Avatar
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    I take the same approach as Heyder requerying my database for matching or similar products based on the referrer data.
    Life is like a dogsled team. If you ain't the lead dog, the scenery never changes.

    -- Lewis Grizzard

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador swampy_webber's Avatar
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    Donuts,

    Just so you know. Not all FAVICON requests are bookmarks. It's a good estimate but some browsers make calls for favicon by default. I found this out after watching my 'bookmarks' climb way up the charts.

    Just an FYI.

    Swampy
    Life is like a dogsled team. If you ain't the lead dog, the scenery never changes.

    -- Lewis Grizzard

  15. #15
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    10 years operating nuclear reactors on submarines... I AM a details guy
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Holy shit, I didn't know all that detail.
    Sorry Sr.

    First, I didn't know that you was a male.
    Second, I don't want no nuclear radiation around me.

  16. #16
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Swampy_Webber:
    I take the same approach as Heyder requerying my database for matching or similar products based on the referrer data. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I don't have enough pages to need it, but what a great solution (and I'll need it eventually).

    You should sell it to others.

    Sandra does that design and training deal - maybe she could sell it for you...

  17. #17
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Swampy_Webber:
    Donuts,

    Just so you know. Not all FAVICON requests are bookmarks. It's a good estimate but some browsers make calls for favicon by default. I found this out after watching my 'bookmarks' climb way up the charts.

    Just an FYI.

    Swampy <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Thanks! I was guessing that myself - but just guessing. The fact that it shows up in the address bar (when you visit my site) of my browser tells me my own browser is likely calling it as well...

  18. #18
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Mr. Sal:
    First, I didn't know that you was a male.
    Second, I don't want no nuclear radiation around me.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Maybe I should add the "Mr." prefix like you... "donuts" could go both ways... wait, that didn't come out right at all...

  19. #19
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    1) open notepad
    2) go to file-&gt;save as-&gt;robots.txt
    3) upload to site root
    4) watch 404's for robots.txt go away
    5) ...
    6) ...
    7) Profit!?

  20. #20
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    So you recommend just an empty robots.txt file?

  21. #21
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>404: Not Found 1,813 100.00%
    /default.ida 18 0.99%
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Another 404 source solved...

    "default.ida"
    from my 404 logs...
    http://www.thesitewizard.com/news/coderediiworm.shtml

    If you have a 404 redirect, you might find this interesting - could save you a little bit of bandwidth.

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