Tip/Trick: Fix Common SEO Problems Using the URL Rewrite Extension
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by Scott Guthrie
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Try the Rule Out

Now that we’ve saved the rule, let’s try it out on our site.  Try the following two URLs on my site:

http://scottgu.com

http://scottgu.com/

Notice that the first URL (which has no trailing slash) automatically does a redirect to a URL with the trailing slash.  Because it is a permanent redirect, search engines will follow the URL and update the page ranking.

Scenario 4: Canonical Host Names

The final SEO problem I discussed earlier are scenarios where a site works with both a leading “www” hostname prefix as well as just the hostname itself.  This causes search engines to treat the URLs as different and split search rankling:

http://www.scottgu.com/albums.aspx

http://scottgu.com/albums.aspx

We can fix this by adding a new IIS Rewrite rule that automatically redirects anyone who navigates to the first URL (that has a www prefix) to instead go to the second URL.  Like before, we will setup the HTTP redirect to be a “permanent redirect” – which will indicate to search engines that they should follow the redirect and use the new URL they are redirected to as the identifier of the content they retrieve. 

To create such a rule we’ll click the “Add Rule” link in the URL Rewrite admin tool again.  This will cause the “Add Rule” dialog to appear again:

The URL Rewrite admin tool has a built-in “Canonical domain name” rule template. 

When we select it and click the “ok” button we’ll see the following dialog which asks us if we want to create a redirect rule that automatically redirects users to a primary host name URL:

image

Above I’m entering the primary URL address I want to expose to the web: scottgu.com.  When we click the “OK” button we’ll get a pre-written rule that automatically performs a permanent redirect if the URL has another leading domain name prefix. 

This will save the following additional rule to our web.config file:

<configuration> 
    <system.webServer> 
        <rewrite> 
            <rules> 
                <rule name="Cannonical Hostname"> 
                    <match url="(.*)" /> 
                    <conditions logicalGrouping="MatchAll"
                        trackAllCaptures="false"> 
                        <add input="{HTTP_HOST}" pattern="^scottgu\.com$"
                              negate="true" /> 
                    </conditions> 
                    <action type="Redirect" url="http://scottgu.com/{R:1}" /> 
                </rule> 
                <rule name="Default Document" stopProcessing="true"> 
                    <match url="(.*?)/?Default\.aspx$" /> 
                    <action type="Redirect" url="{R:1}/" /> 
                </rule> 
                <rule name="Lower Case URLs" stopProcessing="true"> 
                    <match url="[A-Z]" ignoreCase="false" /> 
                    <conditions logicalGrouping="MatchAll"
                        trackAllCaptures="false"> 
                        <add input="{URL}" pattern="WebResource.axd" 
                        negate="true" /> 
                    </conditions> 
                    <action type="Redirect" url="{ToLower:{URL}}" /> 
                </rule> 
                <rule name="Trailing Slash" stopProcessing="true"> 
                    <match url="(.*[^/])$" /> 
                    <conditions logicalGrouping="MatchAll"
                        trackAllCaptures="false"> 
                        <add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}" matchType="IsDirectory"
                        negate="true" /> 
                        <add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}" matchType="IsFile"
                              negate="true" /> 
                        <add input="{URL}" pattern="WebResource.axd" 
                        negate="true" /> 
                    </conditions> 
                    <action type="Redirect" url="{R:1}/" /> 
                </rule> 
            </rules> 
        </rewrite> 
    </system.webServer> 
</configuration>

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