Changing Permalink structure in Wordpress

6 replies
  • SEO
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I have a problem with a Wordpress site that when it was built the person used the wrong permalink structure and included the date/post-title. I've been told having the date in the blog post URL hinders SEO performance. Although the posts are all indexed, the site has received zero organic traffic on over a year. Can anyone here confirm this could be an issue?

Question #2: If I change the permalink structure to only have the post title in the URL, I know I will get 404 errors if someone happens to go to that page. If I use the following code in the sites .htaccess file, which basically redirects all of the old links with the date in the URL to the new links that do not have the date in the URL but only the post name...

Will that cause issues with my SEO.. here's the code I generated from Yoast:

RedirectMatch 301 ^/([0-9]{4})/([0-9]{2})/(?!page/)(.+)$
https://yourwebsite.com/$3


I realize this is an off the wall questions but want to hear from someone with experience with these types of issues before I make the change. I've tested the code on a test side and it seems to work perfectly. I just don't want to give Google any excuse to slap a penalty on the domain.

Thanks in Advance for any help you can offer.
#changing #permalink #structure #wordpress
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    Originally Posted by smoundzou View Post

    I have a problem with a Wordpress site that when it was built the person used the wrong permalink structure and included the date/post-title. I've been told having the date in the blog post URL hinders SEO performance. Although the posts are all indexed, the site has received zero organic traffic on over a year. Can anyone here confirm this could be an issue?

    Question #2: If I change the permalink structure to only have the post title in the URL, I know I will get 404 errors if someone happens to go to that page. If I use the following code in the sites .htaccess file, which basically redirects all of the old links with the date in the URL to the new links that do not have the date in the URL but only the post name...

    Will that cause issues with my SEO.. here's the code I generated from Yoast:

    RedirectMatch 301 ^/([0-9]{4})/([0-9]{2})/(?!page/)(.+)$
    https://yourwebsite.com/$3


    I realize this is an off the wall questions but want to hear from someone with experience with these types of issues before I make the change. I've tested the code on a test side and it seems to work perfectly. I just don't want to give Google any excuse to slap a penalty on the domain.

    Thanks in Advance for any help you can offer.
    IF you have ZERO traffic just de-index the site from Google and change the structure as needed and then re-submit - the minute you start in with redirecting and all of that you are just creating a mess, that will get you in time.

    Hope that Helps!
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    Success is an ACT not an idea
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    • Profile picture of the author smoundzou
      the site has a ton of content pages which are fine, so de-indexing the site isn't an option... There are only 35 blog posts on the site that have the permalink structure with the /2020/01/post-title/ format.

      Can you explain why changing the permalink structure for blog posts will cause issues down the road, even if I use a .htaccess file to only redirect that particular URL structure?

      Thanks
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      • Profile picture of the author savidge4
        Originally Posted by smoundzou View Post

        Can you explain why changing the permalink structure for blog posts will cause issues down the road, even if I use a .htaccess file to only redirect that particular URL structure?
        How many people do you think keep a back up of the .htaccess file? I know, I sure don't. How many times has the .htaccess file been reset somehow or another.. over the years more than I can count.

        Forget the notion that over time you will change this change that do this and that.. and your htaccess file ends up this huge cluge of a mess fixing messes.

        So which is easier... trying to figure out how to 301 35 blog posts or going into Google and de-indexing 35 posts and then making them correct and then re-indexing them?

        There is EASY and there is RIGHT. YOU with no traffic have nothing to lose in doing this RIGHT.

        All of this being my own personal view...

        Hope that Helps!
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  • Profile picture of the author xtrapunch
    Zero organic traffic might also be due to other issues, and not just because of the permalink. My preferred option for WordPress permalink is: "post-slug" or "postid-post-slug". The second option is best suited for large websites.
    If you have just 35 posts with questionable permalink and zero organic traffic, just change the permalink. Add 301 redirects if possible. WordPress does auto-guessing for permalinks, and your structure will get redirected to new URLs automatically (test after changing). Redirect 404 to your homepage. Then, focus on on-page & off-page SEO to get organic traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author cmsminds
    I think there is no issue in eighter de-indexing the pages or rewriting the URLs. The main thing is that you should make it properly. You must 301 redirect the Old URLs to the New URLs if you opt to rewrite the URLs. And if you choose to de-index the current URLs and creating new Permalink and then indexing them again, do it with care as sometimes it takes time to index new pages. So, be prepared for that situation too. Otherwise, there is no harm, in accepting any of the solution mentioned.
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  • Profile picture of the author aarticod
    Banned
    Log in to your WordPress website. When you're logged in, you will be in your 'Dashboard'.
    Click on 'Settings'.
    Click on 'Permalinks'.
    Select 'Post name'.
    Click 'Save changes'.
    Use this tool to generate the correct code.
    Add the code you generated in the previous step to your site's
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