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Does the inclusion of index.php in the URL negatively affect the page rank of each page within an expressionengine site?

Example:

www.domain.com/index.php/about-us  vs  www.domain.com/about-us
www.domain.com/index.php/contact  vs  www.domain.com/contact
www.domain.com/index.php/services  vs  www.domain.com/services

Do search engines see index.php as the only page?

3 Answers 3

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Do search engines see index.php as the only page?

Definitely not. Google treats it as part of the URL, the same as the other segments. There is no penalty to keeping index.php as the first segment.

Even if you were using true query parameters in your URL (index.php?page=about-us), Google is smart enough to understand that this is a distinct page from index.php. (For example, they even offer a tool to customize how they index sites with URL parameters.)

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  • Thanks #Derek. Are you aware of any resources that discuss the use a URL segment that 'seems' to identify a page - other that the query parameters link you provided? Aside from my own education, I'm also trying to inform my client's SEO specialist, and I'm not sure how likely he is to take my/our word for it.
    – dbigca
    Jan 9, 2013 at 4:59
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    Unfortunately, Googling around I can't find a definitive resource that says anything at all (positive or negative) about a URL segment which has a file extension in it. Jan 9, 2013 at 13:26
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Not necessarily, Google will index regardless. However, from a users perspective shorter URL's are always better. Stick with with one method and 301 redirect all the old URLs to the new ones so it doesn't affect your rankings.

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  • Thanks #Siebird. My question was specific to the impact index.php has on page rank. The URL comparison was just for context, but I see how it may have influenced your interpretation of the question.
    – dbigca
    Jan 9, 2013 at 4:48
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I'm no SEO expert, but the problem starts happening when www.domain.com/index.php/about-us and www.domain.com/about-us are considered 2 different URLs even if they aren't being linked anywhere else on the site. Both can resolve to the same thing.

I read this:

http://kevinthompson.info/blog/2011/03/04/completely-remove-index-php-from-expressionengine-urls.html

Where if you DO decide to remove index.php that you should have the 1st domain redirect to the version w/o it as opposed to just having the version without it render as normal.

Would like any clarifications or corrections if I am incorrect in my assumptions. :)

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    You're correct there Lea - if you are removing index.php, you should redirect any requests which do include it. Jan 8, 2013 at 18:00
  • Thanks #lealea. You are absolutely correct, but I was asking specifically about page rank.
    – dbigca
    Jan 9, 2013 at 4:51

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