First, I'd like to preface this question by stating that I insist upon publishing a file name suffix, but only on the outer most entity of our site, the detail pages. I do realize the suffix is not necessary, and as such, some people just don't use it in their URL rewrite rules.
Our basic logic is as follows:
- Top Level: h t t p://no-host-name.just-the-domain.tld/
- Next Level Deeper, append a "directory" of:
- Next Level:
- Next Level:
Each level is one click deeper, making all site content no more than four clicks deep -- good for getting spidered. ALSO -- and I like this "feature" -- you can actually remove the right-most piece of each rewritten "directory" and it will serve a page that is a list of links to all of the groups of data belonging to the classes depicted in the directories comprising the rewritten URL.
The fourth click down results in a detail page, such as: name-of-entity.html
So the question: what should I write as a suffix to the file name?
It seems to be mis-leading to rewrite the URI having a suffix of html. I do believe the consensus suggests (still?) that .html is most favored. However, our technology platform, more accurately, would publish content using a page suffix such as .php or .asp. I do recognize there is a slight security benefit to masquerading the suffix that tells the world what your platform is.
However, isn't it kind of black-hat-like to use a suffix of .html? Paranoia causes me to believe that Google may detect URL rewrite and potentially trigger the so-called over optimization penalty.
Supporting use of the HTML suffix is the fact that we are, indeed, serving HTML content to a browser. It would make less sense to arbitrarily pick .pdf or .doc -- which sometimes scare away clicks when seen among search results.
Also, to reiterate my earlier insistence that I prefer to use a suffix, it's because it completes our depiction of a logical hierarchy:
- the site
- rewrite directory one - the general silos of information
- rewrite directory two - a folder containing more folders
- rewrite directory three - the folder that has the documents
- rewrite document name
All directories end in a forward slash, and in contrast, documents, at least typically, have a suffix and do not have the trailing slash.
I recognize there are certainly other dragons to slay in the course of a workday, but at the moment I am trying to finish up our URL rewrite, which makes this top of mind for me.
Can anyone cite examples to encourage or discourage the rewriting of a suffix of any particular type? And, please, if you see errors in my logic or directory hierarchies, I want to hear what you have to say. Thank you.