WP Permalinks Best Practice for SEO Question

by David
25 replies
  • SEO
  • |
I've been setting permalinks in all my WP installs to /2010/whatever-todays-date-is/name-of-post

I know that's a better option than the default /?123 setting...

I just installed directorypress and within it's config how-to docs it suggests using: /%postname%/


same thing as I was doing but without the date

any seo savvy Warriors here know if /%postname%/ is perhaps better from an SEO standpoint?

I can see that it makes for a shorter url, thus making the blog post easier for to type in by hand, easier to remember and easier to fit into a 140 characters

is there also some SEO benefit to using the shorter version, does any one here have an opinion on this?
#best practice #permalinks #practice #question #seo #seo practices
  • Profile picture of the author jbode
    Yup, just the post name is best... for SEO and more appealing to humans = more visitors

    Date is really irrelevant & the default page # permalinks is terrible for SEO
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  • Profile picture of the author mrmagos
    I prefer /%category%/%postname%/ and set up a few different yet related keywords as categories.
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    • Profile picture of the author jbode
      Originally Posted by mrmagos View Post

      I prefer /%category%/%postname%/ and set up a few different yet related keywords as categories.
      Yeah that's also good, but I like to keep my overall links shorter and target the keywords I want in the post title itself
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Hodgins
      personally I use this: /%post_id%/%postname%/

      it's ranking friendly IMHO, the reason for this setup is so that you can mess with anything regarding your posts, pages etc. just by searching by %post_id%

      I suppose categories would function the same.

      Hope it helps.

      Best,

      ~Jay
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    • Profile picture of the author Zen2health
      Originally Posted by mrmagos View Post

      I prefer /%category%/%postname%/ and set up a few different yet related keywords as categories.
      I think /%postname%/ is better than using the category. Number one, if you change your category, your permalink will break. Number 2, you dilute your keyword density with a keyword that's duplicate across your site if you use the category.

      Having the date is obviously bad as it dilutes your keyword density. Also if you want to update a post, your permalink will break. Lastly, the date sucks because if people see the post was written in 2007, your bounce rate will be sky high.

      That being said, if you have an existing blog, it's usually better to keep the existing permalink structure--if the blog is established. If you change this, you will need a redirection plugin and 301 redirects dilute some PageRank.
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    • Profile picture of the author JayJ
      Originally Posted by mrmagos View Post

      I prefer /%category%/%postname%/ and set up a few different yet related keywords as categories.
      I use this structure to.

      You can optimize your keywords for the category as well as the post title
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  • Profile picture of the author TheWealthSquad
    I have started using %post_id%/%postname%. It makes it slightly longer to type in (though who really types in full blog post URLS? but gives you an added benefit.

    You can now send links that are much shorter. For Twitter you can simply send www.myblog.com/15/ and it will take them to http://www.myblog.com/15/I-Have-The-...tc-etc-etc-etc

    Something to consider.

    Taking the date out also gives you the benefit that someone arriving at your site won't automatically know the blog post is a year old.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrphibs
      Hi,

      I would like to query too areas of my website.

      I currently have the following set up w w w.example.com/?p=123 which appearson pages as well as blog posts.

      I have the default permalink set up in WP.


      Firstly why does the page id appear on pages. Surely it should just display the page title? example.com/page-title

      Secondly after reading all the recommendations I was hoping to add /%postname%/ after the
      example.com/?p=123 to create a more friendly seo.

      The reason being is that my blog contains around 40+ posts which have a lot of links from twitter and numerous forums.


      I don't want to have to go and change them all or end up with broken links.

      But at the same time I would like to try and create a more friendly seo.

      So I'm thinking of adding a custom permalink in /%post_id%/%postname%/

      Am I correct in thinking that my old links (from twitter and forums still work - after reading what
      TheWealthSquad had to say about twitter links I think they would?
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  • Profile picture of the author bertuseng
    I go for just the name. I guess it wont hurt if you have the category in as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    Just a quick note: we all know that the search engines started to consider (as one of the factors) the speed of your site.

    Now if you have a WP blog with a big number of posts - the slowest way for WP to retrieve your post is when you use only the title (/%postname%/), without any numeric value.

    Post ID# and/or date (in the proper 'logical' format: YYYY/MM/DD) help the database to find your post faster.

    In case of a big number of posts I'd go with the compromise solution:
    ID#/slug
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    • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
      Originally Posted by Istvan Horvath View Post

      Now if you have a WP blog with a big number of posts - the slowest way for WP to retrieve your post is when you use only the title (/%postname%/), without any numeric value.
      They say that but I haven't seen any noticeable slowness on WP sites with around 1000-2000 posts using the /%postname%/ or /%category%/%postname%/ permalinks and those using the date based permalink. There probably is some difference, since MySQL is supposed to do numeric queries faster, but it doesn't appear to be all that dramatic of a speed hit, at least not anywhere near as much as loading a piggish ad script or a number of huge photos.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheChanger
    I usually use /%postname%/ for my small niche sites (under 20 posts).
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  • Profile picture of the author PeterGarety
    Some time ago from one very recognizable SEO expert I learned that as less you have between your domain name and the keyword you are targeting the better you will do in search engines.

    I have tested it and it really is true.

    So, for the wordpress I am using /%postname%/ always. Whether I have site with 10 000 post or with 100, no difference.
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  • Profile picture of the author flavius333
    Mr Magos,

    I prefer my posts independent of the category - you never know when you may want to restructure your website.

    As for the /%postname% - I prefer to make them .html and not directory-like; and it's great for SEO.

    Also - I don't like repeating the name of the blog in the title of each post - as WP does and as other plugins do.

    I use All in one SEO pack NOT TO repeat the name of the blog after the title of each post, for instance.

    Just my 2 cents..
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    • Profile picture of the author subse7en
      Originally Posted by flavius333 View Post


      Also - I don't like repeating the name of the blog in the title of each post - as WP does and as other plugins do.

      I use All in one SEO pack NOT TO repeat the name of the blog after the title of each post, for instance.

      Just my 2 cents..
      Hey Flavius, can you explain more about why you feel this way, in regards to the "name of the blog" NOT appearing after the title of every post? I've always wondered about this, which is why I'm asking you for your opinion on this...

      THANKS Bro'!

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      • Profile picture of the author Zen2health
        Originally Posted by subse7en View Post

        Hey Flavius, can you explain more about why you feel this way, in regards to the "name of the blog" NOT appearing after the title of every post? I've always wondered about this, which is why I'm asking you for your opinion on this...

        THANKS Bro'!

        I recently dropped the name of blog from title tags. I can explain easily. Look at any high traffic pro blogger like Darren Rowse, Matt Cutts (Google), and see what they're doing. None of these guys have the blog name in their title tag.

        Also, your title tag can only be 160 characters, so having your blog name limits that. It also dilutes the keyword density of your title tags by having the blog name duplicated.
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        • Profile picture of the author subse7en
          Originally Posted by Zen2health View Post

          I recently dropped the name of blog from title tags. I can explain easily. Look at any high traffic pro blogger like Darren Rowse, Matt Cutts (Google), and see what they're doing. None of these guys have the blog name in their title tag.

          Also, your title tag can only be 160 characters, so having your blog name limits that. It also dilutes the keyword density of your title tags by having the blog name duplicated.
          Thanks Z2H for the reply! BTW, how do I drop the title tag out of every post name/title?
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  • Profile picture of the author nettech
    I use %postname%.html, not only does the URL look like its in the root directory, the site also looks static with a html extension (just a personal preference).

    With regards to speed, you can just install WP-Cache or ensure your site is hosted on a reputable hosting company's platform and that should help speed things up.

    Couple that with the All in One SEO plugin and SEO Smart links for interlinking and away you go.

    Zaheer
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    Thanks
    Zaheer

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    • Profile picture of the author Jack Sprat
      I agree with nettech and flavius on the .html extension.

      Although I actually prefer /%category%/%postname.html.

      The advantage of the .html is that if you ever decide to move away from wordpress and go to static html, there's no need to have redirects on your URL's.
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  • Profile picture of the author Haussingen Peter
    i use %postname% for permalinks too.but if you have a massive of articles,%month%/%day%/%postname% will be more clear
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    Read more in my BLOG:mobile patent
    patent analysis

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  • Profile picture of the author Leslie B
    I use /%postname%.html myself, but when I'm creating my posts I edit my permalink so that only the keyword I'm targeting with the post is in the link. So, for example, if my post title is 10 Way To Make Money Online and my keyword is make money online, I make it so that the link becomes yourdomain.com/make-money-online.html

    Hope this makes sense

    Leslie
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    Taking it one day at a time!
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    • Profile picture of the author mrphibs
      Thanks Leslie

      I like the idea of editing the permalink. But is it possible for me to add my postname in after my current permalink which is example.com/?p=123

      what permalink code would i use? and would it mess up all my links to these posts?

      thanks
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