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Subject Topic: Rewrite/LinkFreeze/APE - what to use?
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khartley
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Joined: 10 February 2010
Posts: 16
Posted: 26 February 2010 at 2:31pm

Our site now uses URLs like this:

 

http://www.masterbeat.com/#release/6589490123

http://www.masterbeat.com/#artist/madonna

http://www.masterbeat.com/#remixer/daveaude

http://www.masterbeat.com/#genre/house

 

You can see from above our site uses these URLs to load dynamic pages, with the first section after the # being the page 'type' and the next section after the second / being the content 'code'.  Together they create the dynamic page that loads.

 

We want to rewrite the URLs to present SEO friendly links by re-writing and basically dropping out the # and adding .htm to the end.

 

So the above URLs should get rewritten to:

 

www.masterbeat.com/#release/6589490123 -> www.masterbeat.com/release/6589490123.htm

http://www.masterbeat.com/#artist/madonna -> www.masterbeat.com/artist/madonna.htm

http://www.masterbeat.com/#remixer/daveaude -> www.masterbeat.com/remixer/daveaude.htm

http://www.masterbeat.com/#genre/house -> www.masterbeat.com/genre/house.htm

 

The second section above is the rewritten URL that will be presented to the user, google search engines etc.  The URL will be translated back to our site as the first section.

 

This should be simple - what would the product and rules be for the above to simply remove the # and add the .htm as shown?  Should we use IASAPI_Rewrite and/or LinkFreeze, or APE?  (We've been looking at LinkFreeze, but having a problem with the #, which LinkFreeze doesn't seem to be able to look for and substitute.)
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Yaroslav
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Joined: 15 August 2002
Posts: 6520
Posted: 26 February 2010 at 4:46pm

You have a Flash web site. The # character means it is not actually a link but only a browser instruction for Flash to change something on the page. Search engines will not index Flash anyway, so unfortunately no solution for you.

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Yaroslav Govorunov,
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khartley
Newbie


Joined: 10 February 2010
Posts: 16
Posted: 26 February 2010 at 5:00pm

Hi Yaroslav,

Yes, we KNOW we have a Flash website.  That is NOT the issue.  We are building underlying DYNAMIC pages UNDER the flash page that will show the same content in HTML.  These pages will be called with the same link structure I show above - the flash window will show the flash version and our underlying html section (in a DIV) will show the corresponding info for SEO purposes for indexing.

Instead of worrying about the type of site we have, could we instead try to get our question answered about how to do what we are asking? 

If we want an outbound (coming from our site) page to be rewritten (or in your terminolgy - a 'freeze link') so that a page like this:

http://www.masterbeat.com/#release/658949123 gets 'frozen' and presented to the world (and google) as http://www.masterbeat.com/release/658949123.htm

CAN THIS BE DONE with linkfreeze and/or mod_linkfreeze within Helicon APE?  It appears Linkfreeze itself won't allow us to use the # sign as part of a frozen link (ie: removing it) - is this the case?  If it can, how?  And if it can't, can mod_linkfreeze in APE?

Thank you for all of your help.  We know what we want to do is possible as we've been directed to you to make it happen, and some combination of your products should be able to do what we need, which is simply remove the # and add an .htm for outbound links.

Thank you!

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Yaroslav
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Joined: 15 August 2002
Posts: 6520
Posted: 27 February 2010 at 4:09pm

Please understand that I am trying to actually resolve your problem, instead of just answering questions.
The '#' character in the link you are talking is so called named anchor. It is a special character, indicating that anything that follows it is not actually a link but the instruction for the browser wich part of the page to display. Browser never send this information to the server. So form the point of view of HTTP protocol http://www.masterbeat.com/#release/658949123 link is equal to the http://www.masterbeat.com/ link therefore it cannot be indexed separately. It is not a separate document.
Answering to your question nither of the products will help you. Even if LinkFreeze replace the '#' character on your site it will only brake your web site structure. There is no actual pages on your site, only one huge page with named anchors on it.
If you need your web site to be indexed with search engines please consider consulting your web developers, because plug-in solutions like LinkFreeze will not help in this case. Your web site will require significant rebuild.

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Yaroslav Govorunov,
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khartley
Newbie


Joined: 10 February 2010
Posts: 16
Posted: 27 February 2010 at 4:51pm

Hi, we understand you are trying to help, and we appreciate it.  Please bear with us one more time - as I think we are having a breakdown in communication on what we are trying to accomplish.  Please understand that after designing and implementing our site, we DO understand how it works.  We DO understand it is Flash and we DO understand that it is just ONE page and not a lot of pages.  We KNOW the site sits on one page and we KNOW how the # works as an anchor.  We understand all of this.

 

I guess what we are not portraying to you is that we ALREADY have the means within the page (in javascript and other special code) to PARSE the URL that appears to make the Flash window (and special underlying HTML sections in DIV) dynamically generate the code and data we need to be indexed.  To a search engine, we CAN make it think this is a lot of dynamic (new) pages to index rather than the one page it really is.

 

What we are trying to ask is WHY can�t either linkfreeze or mod_linkfreeze (probably the better solution) replace or remove the # for us to the outside world (outgoing) and put it back (incoming) for URL calls.  This is what you advertise linkfreeze to do.  Let�s step back and remove the # from the equation for a second because that is what you are getting hung up on and determined it won�t work without actually seeing that we already understand what needs to happen on our end with the Flash page and pages being generated.  Let us worry about that.  What we�d love for you to worry about is WHY the # can�t be replaced or �frozen� by linkfreeze like other characters if we know what to do on our end.

 

In your blog post at:  http://helicontech.blogspot.com/search/label/seo  you claim that �you turn dynamic pages into static ones� by freezing a  link.  You intercept the URL going out and apply rules to URL to remove/replace characters, and you do the SAME THING when the call comes back in, based on those rules.

 

So if you don�t worry about the fact that our site is flash for a moment and to your thinking that it�s all one page (we know how to deal with this) - can you please explain why there can�t be a rule that would replace this:

 

http://www.masterbeat.com/#release/658949123

 

with

 

http://www.masterbeat.com/release/658949123.htm  -> this new URL that you �froze� or �rewrote� would be presented to the search engines.  Trust us that we know how to make the page appear with the data on it (OUTSIDE THE FLASH) that this will appear as a unique indexable page.

 

Now, in the same vein, or only in reverse, WHY can�t the above rule work in reverse, as you advertise linkfreze to do, so that when it gets a call from the outside world to http://www.materbeat.com/release/658949123.htm  it knows this is a frozen link and rewrites it back to http://www.masterbeat.com/#release/658949123 so that our site, flash window, and other code see the URL the way they need to. 

 

It should work the same even if this is a # instead of a ? or & - remember, even on those types of characters, the pages DO NOT EXIST - linkfreeze or mod_linkfreeze is creating an appearance of a static page, but when you present the URL back to the site architecture, you�ve put it back the way it is supposed to be (this is a bad example - but you say you CAN change www.masterbeat.com/?release/6589949 to www.masterbeat.com/release/658949.htm and change it back.  So why can�t you do this with a #, as long as it gets rewritten to include the # again when our site sees it, we are happy, and Linkfreeze shouldn�t care.

 

We DO realize this is out of the ordinary, and maybe you didn�t anticipate a site being able to create dynamic pages from things after the # - but we can.  That�s all dynamic pages are anyway - pages that don�t exist and that are created on the fly.  We just happen to need to do it with a # character because of our Flash component.

 

If you were to pretend Flash didn�t exist on our site, and it was a series of aspx pages, still using the # as a separator/anchor, could we do this:

 

Freeze or rewrite so a site link like https://www.masterbeat.com/#artist/madonna/home.aspx  so it appears to outside world (google, etc) as https://www.masterbeat.com/artist/madonna/home.aspx but gets froze and comes back to our site with the # back in place?  Pretend this is a dynamic ASPX page and NOT Flash.  Why can�t a rule be written to freeze /#artist and replace with /artist?  But put the # back when it comes back to our site.  Again, this is what linkfreeze does with ? and & - we just want to do it with a #.  Let us worry about what happens AFTER the page is rendered, we just need the rewrite/freeze help from you.  This should be possible if you can do it with the other characters.

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Yaroslav
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Joined: 15 August 2002
Posts: 6520
Posted: 02 March 2010 at 5:32am

OK, then if you say you know exactly what you are doing the only suggestion I can make is to try it. Either product LinkFreeze or Ape should replace '#' character in the HTML links on your pages and rewrite it back on server side. And definitely none for the product will change links inside Flash. But I still have strong doubt it will work.
In the blog article mentioned we where using HTML web site with dynamic pages generated on server. So from the point of view of search engines they where still different pages, but only with dynamic links. Search engines will not parse client side JavaScripts and any content generated by these scripts. I don't understand how thay will find links to crawl your site if they are generated on the clinet side. But again, if you have strong understanding of this process, probably you need to try the solution first. Both LinkFreeze and Ape comes with 45-day trial period, so you can freely test-drive it.

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Yaroslav Govorunov,
Helicon Tech
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khartley
Newbie


Joined: 10 February 2010
Posts: 16
Posted: 02 March 2010 at 12:38pm

I'd like to try LinkFreeze, since it seems to be more in line with what we need to do - however, I can't see how to replace the '#' character.  When I look at the LinkFreeze rule definition, I only have the option of replacing ?, &, and =.  How do I replace a '#' using LinkFreeze?

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Vyacheslav
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Joined: 02 July 2008
Location: Ukraine
Posts: 1542
Posted: 03 March 2010 at 11:04am

Hello,
I�m sure you know this, but just to clarify�both LinkFreeze and mod_linkfreeze modify HTML content. You said you had HTML version of the site. Probably you�re going to use our �freezing� solutions there. Can I take a look on it? I hope we have a solution for you, but I need to see the actual material to suggest you with proper software and help you in its configuration.
Thank you for your patience.

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Slavik Shynkarenko,
Helicon Tech.
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khartley
Newbie


Joined: 10 February 2010
Posts: 16
Posted: 03 March 2010 at 1:22pm

Hi, Slava -

We're really just concerned with the URL itself, not the page contents, and the page is aspx, not html - is that a problem?

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Vyacheslav
Admin Group


Joined: 02 July 2008
Location: Ukraine
Posts: 1542
Posted: 03 March 2010 at 3:56pm

Hello,
No, aspx isn�t a problem. I beg a pardon for being not specific. Whatever you use on server (I guess ASP.NET in your case), browser finally gets HTML response. LinkFreeze and mod_linkfreeze work is based on modifying this response.
Suppose you have an HTML response with this piece of code:
Code:
<a href="www.masterbeat.com/?release/6589949">Some link</a>

LinkFreeze and mod_linkfreeze will turn it to:
Code:
<a href="www.masterbeat.com/release/658949.htm">Some link</a>


Of course the tools will also substitute www.masterbeat.com/release/658949.htm with www.masterbeat.com/?release/6589949 when you request the first one from browser.

So if there is no HTML content to modify, I think both LinkFreeze and mod_linkfreeze solutions aren�t suitable for you. Maybe I don�t understand the situation totally. Please consider the explanation above and the �Go for SEO with Helicon Ape mod_linkfreeze� article to get know that �link freezing� tools are good for you or not.

If you only want to operate with requests and URLs, I guess ISAPI_Rewrite or mod_rewrite module of Ape could be useful for you.
I saw you provided a few examples but would you please do it one more time for me, in order to I could provide you with an example of ISAPI_Rewrite or mod_rewrite configuration.
Basically I need to know what URL should see and request web-site users, as well as the actual URL. The best way is to show real URLs so that I could see them from my browser.

Thank you and sorry if I misunderstood you.

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Slavik Shynkarenko,
Helicon Tech.
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khartley
Newbie


Joined: 10 February 2010
Posts: 16
Posted: 03 March 2010 at 4:03pm

We only want to operate with requests and URLs.  We want to replace

http://www.masterbeat.com/#release/658949123

 

with

 

http://www.masterbeat.com/release/658949123.htm 

 

Now, in the same vein, or only in reverse, as you advertise linkfreeze to do,  when it gets a call from the outside world to http://www.materbeat.com/release/658949123.htm  it should be recognized as a frozen link and rewritten back to http://www.masterbeat.com/#release/658949123 so that our site, flash window, and other code see the URL the way they need to.
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Vyacheslav
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Joined: 02 July 2008
Location: Ukraine
Posts: 1542
Posted: 04 March 2010 at 3:34am

Hello,
Thank you for the example provided.

We make extensions for IIS web-server. Our products are totally server-side and rely on request-response model of HTTP protocol.
I think we don�t have a solution to accomplish your task and here is why:
Suppose you�ve set links as static and request http://www.masterbeat.com/release/658949123.htm. On the server you also have configured our software (LinkFreeze,Ape or ISAPI_Rewrite�whatever). Having /release/658949123.htm request our tool now has to respond as if it was /#release/658949123 requested. So it makes internal sub-request to /#release/658949123, tries and returns the content.
But there is one problem. /#release/658949123 won�t give any response because it�s not an actual URL.
When you request /#release/658949123 from web-browser, the browser doesn�t do any requests to the server. It�s only your flash object which understands how to treat such anchor-based URLs. But still there is no request to server, hence no work of our software.

You may install ISAPI_Rewrite and try the following rule:
Code:
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^release/(\d+)\.htm$ /\%23release/$1 [NC,L]

or even proxy:
Code:
RewriteEngine on
RewriteProxy ^release/(\d+)\.htm$ https\://www.masterbeat.com/\%23release/$1 [NC,L]

The result will be far away from desirable.

But, for example this one will work:
Code:
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^release/(\d+)\.htm$ /\?release/$1 [NC,L]


Because query string is passed through HTTP protocol to server side software. The anchor isn�t.

Please tell me if I misunderstood you. I�m willing to try and help you with workaround.
Thank you.

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Slavik Shynkarenko,
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