Hello Grant,
Well the thing with search engines is as AltaVista puts it very nicely:

Dynamic pages also block Web crawlers.
8><   8><    cut   8><   8><
Typically such pages have a question mark (?) in the URL. When a search 
engine crawler arrives at such a page, it captures the content but halts 
immediately, and will not follow the links, because it sees ahead of it an 
infinite number of pages -- a black hole that would bring it to a crash.

This came from http://doc.altavista.com/adv_search/ast_haw_wellindexed.html 
where you can find more useful tips.

So if you are passing variables in any way like 
http://www.site.com/dir/article.php?id=25 than these pages will simply not 
be indexed...
One way to deal with this is the following:

Build the link above like this:  http://www.site.com/dir/25.html this 
document doesn't exist.
In that directory you refer the 404's to article.php where you call 
getenv("REQUEST_URI")  and look, it says 25.html which you can then use to 
query the database and show that article :)


At 12:24 27-02-2001 +0000, you wrote:
>I'm not sure my question fits into the remit of this list - so apologies in
>advance if it's off track... Please point me in a more suitable direction is
>I recently converted my sites from hardwired HTML to a PHP/MySQL
>combination - with dynamic 'newsy' info held in a database, tailored for
>each visitor. Unfortunately the 'hit rate' from search engines has gone
>virtually to zero as Altavista, Hotbot etc. removed me from their indexes -
>they don't index .php files as far as I can see, and also don't follow links
>on php pages (I imagine it's the same for ASP, ColdFusion etc.). In contrast
>Google and All The Web have no problems with the .php extension (and even
>index my .pdf files!).
>I would be grateful for any wisdom on how best to deal with this. I could of
>course make an HTML intro page, but that would be a pity since I'd hardly be
>able to an intro page that conveys all the necessary info to bring the right
>visitors. Any advice on how to do this well? I could alternatively change
>the setting of the PHP parser to parse all .html as if it's php.
>Unfortunately I'm sharing a server right now and my ISP is unlikely to
>accept this because of the reduction in performance (I may be prepared to
>move to a dedicated server if necessary though). Lastly I thought of writing
>a PHP routine that, run once a day, will make a few HTML 'mirror' pages
>based on the content of the database to capture the search engine visitors.
>I could do that, but it seems to defeat the purpose of the dynamic pages
>somewhat... pity.
>Any other ideas? How do others deal with this issue?
>Grant Ballard-Tremeer,
>HEDON Household Energy Network http://www.ecoharmony.net/hedon/
>eco Ltd. http://ecoharmony.com
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