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<question>
Cold Fusion work arounds to question marks in URL's. Any suggestions when using .asp?
</question>

First off it is important to understand both the reasons for implementing a workaround and the SE's which are affected by ?(querystrings).

Contrary to much of what I've seen on this subject there is only 1 or 2 majors which don't handle the qstring. AV is one that the regular indexer chokes on these. The other possible engine is Inktomi. Detlev would know better than I if this is truly the case for Inktomi.

Whenever I'm providing a solution I determine benefits to cost. Sometimes it is more cost effective to look at another solution other than a programmatic solution. It is often effective to look beyond just what you can "personally" provide.

In the case of Inktomi, Inclusion may be a more cost effective workaround then implementing any other solution. This guarantees regular indexing and a querystring solution. You might say, the double play ball, so to speak. Position Tech is a good bet for this solution.
http://www.positiontech.com

Av Inclusion program may also spider urls with qstrings, but do they even matter anymore? The cost just may not be justified from a traffic standpoint.

One of the other considerations at this point is the added usability for users by dropping the qstring. This provides an easier URL to remember and looks much better when hrefs are displayed in status and URL locator window. It would be a good idea to include this benefit as well when deciding upon the solution to the problem.

There are a few methods that can be used for workarounds for .asp. I have been doing nothing but development and SEO on dynamic sites for the past 3 years. IMHO, the best way is to embed the parameters and any needed database queries in the page. Note that to conform to the I-search format I've put some on double lines when they should all be on a single line.

<%@ Language=VBScript %>
<!--#include virtual="/dir/adovbs.inc"-->
<!--#include virtual="/dir/vars.inc"-->
<%strID=request.querystring("ID") 'is state turned on?
iProdID="12334"
strBrand="Niko"
strCat="cell phone accessories"
'Constants are kept in an included file at the directory
'level for each brand or type of product
Const KW="cellphones accessories cell phone cellular phones"
Const Description="ABC Cellular wholesale and retail "
strMetaDesc=""&Description&strCat&" by "&strBrand&"."
strTitle=""&strBrand&" manufacturers of "&strCat&"."
strKW=""&strBrand&" "&strCat&" "&KW    'put page variables at
'the begining of all head tags for full optimization
'query the db using ado
Set rs=Server.CreateObject("ADODB.Recordset")
sqltemp="select * from Table where (Prod="
sqltemp=sqltemp&"'"&iProdID&"'"&")"
rs.open sqltemp, connectme, adopenstatic
iPrice=rs("Price")
strProdDesc=rs("ProdDesc")
rs.close
set rs=nothing%>
<html>
the rest of the page

This for all intents and purposes is a static page to an engine and user. No querystrings are needed unless you are maintaining state for a shopping cart or like application. If maintaing state I will turn on the qstring by testing for a variable in the link tag: <a href="/<%=strBrand%>/<%=strCat%>.asp
<%if not strID="" then%>?ID=<%=strID%><%end if%>"><%=strBrand%>
&nbsp;<%=strCat%></a>.
strID is activated when the user takes an action that requires maintaining state ie:adds something to the cart. Since engines won't take this action then........... you have hidden qstrings for maintaining state. This hides the qstring from crawlers and users until it is needed. I have seen this complete solution used with Cold Fusion also.

If I'm doing a large site I will write the pages using a perl program that reads data out of the database and publishes the pages with the needed embedded parameters and database queries. It can also be done with VBscript but the code is verbose and takes
longer to write.

Hope this helps.

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