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Search Engine Optimization: Which File Ending Is Better
Make It Easier For Search Engine Spiders To Index Your Site
Originally Published: January 4, 2005
Editor's Note: A free search engine spider map makes it easy for the search engine spiders to index all of the pages on your site.
Some webmasters wonder whether they should use .htm or .html as the file extension for their web pages. Rumor has it that some file extensions make it more difficult to get indexed by search engines.
Which file extension should you use for your web pages?
From a search engine optimization point of view, it doesn't matter which file extension you use for your web pages. As long as the content of your web pages can be indexed by search engines, search engines will try to index it.
What's the official Google statement?
Google has posted an official statement regarding this matter:
"At Google, we are able to index most types of pages and files with very few exceptions. File types we are able to index include: pdf, asp, jsp, html, shtml, xml, cfm, doc, xls, ppt, rtf, wks, lwp, wri, swf."
How can you make it easier for search engine spiders to index your site?
Although the file extension is not important, there are some things you can do to make it easier for search engine spiders to index your web site.
Don't make search engines spiders have to think
Search engine spiders are very simply software programs that follow links on web pages and that index the contents of web pages. If the file extension doesn't make it clear what type of web page the spider has to expect, it might not index it properly.
If a text file starts with code that looks like PDF, a search engine spider might try to convert it to HTML although there is nothing to convert. Never make search engine spiders have to think. They might get it wrong.
Don't use fancy HTML code
Follow the standards
It really helps if you web site is compliant to the W3C standards. Search engine spiders are built on these standards. If your web site is compliant to these standards, search engine spiders can index it without problems. We've published an article [Why Valid Html Code Is Important To Your Web Site] about this topic some time ago.
Tell search engines what your web site is all about
If you want to be found for special search terms on search engines, you should make sure that your web pages are
optimized for these search terms.
Only web pages that are optimized for special search terms can have good rankings for them. Optimized pages make it much easier for search engine spiders to determine what your web site is all about.
It doesn't matter which file extension you use for your web pages. However, you should make it as easy as possible for search engine spiders. The less a spider has to think when indexing your web site, the more likely it is that your web pages will be properly indexed.
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