How do you set permalinks for best results?

11 replies
  • SEO
  • |
Hi, I have always set my permalinks with this code, /%postname% which makes the url show as but I see a lot of people lately recommending this setting, /%postname%/ which makes the url show as

Is there a worthwhile reason to use one instead of the other for seo purposes, or is it just personal preference.

Thanks Glenn
#permalinks #results #set
  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    It depends what your aim is.

    Those permalinks actually increase page loading times and are not good for visitor experience, but some people like them for seo reasons.

    nothing to see here.

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  • Profile picture of the author SpikeS
    In my experience this will make little to no difference. The SE's will pick it up either way.

    I'm sure there are more significant things to focus on :p
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  • Profile picture of the author RevSEO
    Very insignificant difference. Although I highly recommend having "pretty" permalinks regardless of whether or not it slows down your website a little bit. People will be more inclined to click through if there is a pretty URL and the search engines will place more weight on those type of URLs.
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  • Profile picture of the author Emoney
    I use this format and love it, very clean look and SEs love it.
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  • Profile picture of the author RemyMartin
    yeah, postname is all you need. Makes it easier for people to remember if need be.
    The money is the motive.

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  • Profile picture of the author planetlubs
    I have always used /%postname%/ and this has given me good results for SEO purpose. But I think they both work good for seo. There is no reason why they should not.

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    • Profile picture of the author planetlubs
      Originally Posted by planetlubs View Post

      I have always used /%postname%/ and this has given me good results for SEO purpose. But I think they both work good for seo. There is no reason why they should not.

      I have just done some kuick reading on this and this is what I have just read from I am Karthik dot com website.

      Here is what he has to say.

      My earlier permalink structure was /%postname%-%post_id%/ which means that it includes both the post's id and the title. According to this structure, this post would have the URL of t-permalink-scheme-15/ (15 is the id of this post). Can you imagine the confusion it would cause if I were to make a list post? If I were to post an article on the "21 Best WordPress Themes" and the post id were to be 25, the URL of the post would look like ss-themes-25/. Now I don't know about you, but it looks very silly to me. Then why did I include the post id in the URL? The logic behind it was that in case I would ever need to change the permalinks, I could redirect the posts based on the id. I was also taking a precaution against duplicate post titles - its easy to make two posts with the same title (post titles such as "Weekend Reading" are most likely to be created every week) and I didn't want to set my blog on fire by having the same URL pointing to two different posts.

      But WordPress is smarter than I thought.

      Now I'm one of those guys who likes to see some proof before they believe what they are told. To do that, I setup a test blog and set the permalink scheme to /%postname%/ (Go to your Administration Panel->Options->Permalinks). Next, I posted an article which we shall call "test post". If you've been paying attention, you would know that it would have had a URL of /test-post/, after which I renamed the post to point to /new-test-post/. To complete the test, I typed in /test-post/ in my browser's address bar and I found WordPress giving me a sly grin and showing me /new-test-post/!

      Ok, so it won on this count. I still had to know what would happen if I posted two articles with the same title. To test this, I made another post with the title "new test post" which would generate the same URL of that of my previous post. But it was strike two for me when I found out the URL of the new post - it was /new-test-post-2/. Notice the number "2″? WP added that to show that there was a post with the same title already. Neat. So no two posts will have the same URL.

      I guess I stretched it a bit too far when I created a page with the same title, "new test post". I salvaged some of my ego there, because WP seemed to display the page that I created for the URL /new-test-post/ rather than the post with the same title.

      Three facts present themselves at this point:

      WordPress is smart.
      Its smarter.
      It gives more importance to pages than posts (which is why it displayed the page rather than the post).

      Well, once it became clear that the id of the post was not required, I set out to find the best permalink scheme for search engine optimization. Search engines give a lot of importance to the keywords in the URL and so its obvious that the post title must be part of it. I decided against adding the category of each post so as not to reduce the keyword density in the URL. It also helps to keep the URL short.

      Over 90% of the blogs that I've visited/read seem to use a permalink structure of /%postname%/. This is bad for SEO for two reasons, one is that it causes a duplicate content penalty if anyone linked to your blog as /%postname% without the trailing slash. Quoting the above example, and would lead to the same content under different URLs. This is strictly against Google's Webmaster Guidelines. The second reason that this is bad SEO is that, as far as search engines are concerned, the post is on the second level from the domain and hence will be given less importance. Each level can be assumed as a folder, for example, if I have a page called abc.html at tml and xyz.html at; abc.html is on the second level, while xyz.html is on the first level thus giving more importance (PageRank) to xyz.html.

      So how do we avoid this? We can choose a permalink option of /%postname% or /%postname%.html (or /%postname%.php). I decided to go with /%postname%.html for the simple reason that web-surfers are more accustomed to seeing the extensions of html or php and a page without an extension might confuse them and some may even add an extension of their liking (others may add the trailing slash which would end up in a duplicate content penalty again!). To avoid that, I'm now sticking to /%postname%.html. From the example, the post title would now look like tml

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  • Profile picture of the author andy moore
    Excellent, planetlubs! What a great explanation of permalinks. You obviously took some time over that.

    I'm not sure I would go for the html change at the end. Would this definitely be better for seo purposes? I don't know enough about this to qualify that statement.

    Thank you.
    Andy Moore
    Signature How To Get Top Ranking Videos In Google and YouTube - In Days!
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  • Profile picture of the author justindann
    Thanks you planetlubs. I have also been using /%postname%.html, and it did work well for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author studlee46
    I agree with planet lubs (minus the duplicate penalty part). But my general rule of thumb is that if you plan on having a large site with tons of content with different silos, stick with the /%POSTNAME%/. But if your goal is for a smaller site, definitely go with the .php or .html extension.
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  • Profile picture of the author gredelhi
    Permalink is short for Permanent Links and this is a typical URL like - this is great and all that and search engines can find and index these pages and the words used in the link which will have a bearing on search results displayed.

    custom structure:

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