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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Los Angeles, California
    Databases are usually designed to include an ID field to uniquely identify a record. When generating a lot of pages into a folder, some unique naming convention is needed to avoid overwriting pages, and since an ID field is usually already there using it for file names is strongly recommended.

    However, I recognize that affiliates prefer to squeeze every advantage out of Google's indexing rules, and that the filename can play a role in good ranking.

    Currently, WebMerge 2.3 and earlier uses strict UNIX-compliant file names to better guarantee flawless performance on all Web servers. This includes translating all non-alphanumeric characters in order to conform to those conventions. For example, "?", "/", and spaces have special meanings in UNIX and are therefore unsuitable for inclusion in filenames.

    But there is another solution: WebMerge 2.4 will allow much greater flexibility by giving you the option to have it convert non-alphanumeric characters to an escaped form of that character (e.g., space will become "%20"). While it would address the request, there are two potential issues with this approach on which I could use your feedback:

    - I cannot guarantee that resulting names will always be acceptable to all servers. Accordingly, the escaping option will be turned off by default. Can you think of any specific escape sequence that would be unacceptable to some servers which I should avoid?

    - I have no data indicating how Google treats escaped characters in file names, and it may not improve ranking at all. For example, if you have a page named "Men's trousers" it will become "Men%27s+trousers" -- when searching at Google for "Men's trousers" will the page with the escaped characters rank higher than one named "Mens trousers"? If you have a URL to a authoritative discussion on that it would be greatly appreciated.

    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any database on any site
    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

  2. #2
    Full Member
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005

    Not really my area of expertise, however, the following article looks like it may be relevant to your question -- "Do Dashes or Underscores Goose Google Rankings More?"

    Search for this title using Google and you will locate the URL.



  3. #3
    Full Member
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    I think the best is "Change all, besides a-z and 0-9, into hyphen (-), with a maximum of 1" If I have something like "clothes - black" it will be "clothes---black" now.

    The hyphen is the only way to seperate words without loosing it's recognition. mens-clothes is mens + clothes for Google. mens_clothes or mens%20clothes are two new words. Google will never see them as mens + clothes (Do a search for them at google)

  4. #4
    Full Member
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Isn't it possible to add a number if an url is the same (../clothes.htm, ../clothes-1.htm, ../clothes-2.htm)

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    I agree with uphill's first way for making files names is getting rid of everything except numbers, letters and either dashes or underscores (I like dashes, but some people prefer underscores, so a choice would be good), and no more than one dash in succession.

  6. #6
    Full Member Larry's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    With the current version I am adding numbers to each (page) name in a field when there are duplicate products with the same uphills second post.

    If 2.4 could add a -number to any duplicated name page that would be convenient.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Richmond, VA
    This will address a big problem. Not a problem with WM, but with the feeds. It always seems like after cleaning up a feed, there are still problems with characters sometimes sneaking through and goffing up files names.

    So this would be great, but - Please make it optional.



    You might just be a Redneck if - Birds are attracted to your beard...

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