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Re: URL Formats for SEO

  • Subject: Re: URL Formats for SEO
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 17:00:09 +0100
  • Newsgroups: alt.internet.search-engines
  • Organization: schestowitz.com / Manchester University
  • References: <jgnjf192euevj9j85vknjjs01h5u8ef306@4ax.com> <ddcsia$ha5$1@godfrey.mcc.ac.uk> <5m5kf15r13ejqp2alpv2tvhlph10uivfi9@4ax.com>
  • Reply-to: newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • User-agent: KNode/0.7.2
AF wrote:

> On Wed, 10 Aug 2005 13:39:20 +0100, Roy Schestowitz
> <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> snip
>>slugs can form more meaningful permanent links that also make the URL
>>correlate to the content, as well as reflect on its date and orientation.
>>I suggest you read the following:
> snip
> I read the above article and find it interesting, but it is not
> helpful in terms of how do you construct urls in a Google dominated
> world.  The article isn't bad, just nor helpful.  Meaningful urls are
> helpful to the person viewing the page, but I suspect are mot that
> meaningful to Google.

In the back of my mind I have some text or voice (excuse my idiotic
metaphors) telling me that one dominant search engine decided to put
greater emphasis on keywords in URL's. I think it was about a week ago. I
am also not too sure is a match with 'blog' or 'weblog' is dealt with as a
special case. The blog apathists will tell you so...

> The real problem, as I see it, is how do you construct urls for a
> dynamic web site and still make them seo friendly?  That is perhaps
> the question or problem the original psoter is driving at.

Yes, as opposed to the item from Adaptive Path, which aims not to fool
search engines.

> Which of these urls, all fake, would be the best for seo, assuming
> they would all deliver the exact same content?
> http:www.domain.com/subject.html
> http:www.domain.com/category/subject.html
> http:www.domain.com/subject.php
> http:www.domain.com/content.php/subject
> http:www.domain.com/content/subject
> assuming "content" is the name of content.php, your main php, or
> activex, or asp, or whatever, processing page
> http:www.domain.com/content.php?categoryId=subject
> When I say "best for seo", maybe I really ought to ask "which will
> hurt for seo", since all, or some, of the above might be acceptable,
> but one or more might be a real no-no for Google.

The rephrasing of the scenario is useful. If you choose to look at
penalties, however, instead of /rewards/ then you might miss 'gold mines'
that might get you good positions.

> Now I know you can search on Google and find many example of the
> format http:www.domain.com/content.php?categoryId=28, i.e. using the
> "?".  But I have considered using the "?", and yet I am put off by
> Google's official position not to use it.

Don't they use it themselves for search results? One wonders. Hypocrisy, I

> I also know you can do mod-rewrites, but as Roy Schestowitz points
> out,
> "... such things require redirections (mod rewrites to be precise) at
> a lower level, which is rarely trivial to do."
> So to get back to the original question, is
> http://www.example.co.uk/content.php?categoryId=28 acceptable.
> Officially Google says no.  Unofficially, Google permits them.  For
> example, I jsut searched on "mortgages tampa", and the third url is
> www.bizjournalsdirectory.com/tampabay/s.asp?d=7489
> By the way the first url is
> www.partypop.com/Categories/Mortgages/Tampa_FL.htm, which looks like a
> clean html page, but we all know it is dynamic.
> and the second url is
> www.superpages.com/yellowpages/C-Mortgages/S-FL/T-Tampa/, which looks
> suspicious like a dynamic page.
> And the fourth url is
> which looks clean, but we all know it is dynamic
> and the fifth url is alm.directorym.com/?DirectoryId=9762, obviously a
> dynamic page.

These examples are meaningless if you neglect other more significant factors
like page title, PageRank, last update, etc. 

> In fact we all know, as does google that dynamic pages are here to
> stay.  I think Google just doesn't want to officially admit it.

Maybe it wants it to become transparent (e.g. mod-rewrite) because it helps
the algorithms or prevents the need to adapt (READ: code).

> So based on this evidence I don't see anything wrong with
> http://www.example.co.uk/content.php?categoryId=28.
> I could be wrong.  In fact my teenagers remind me about 100 times a
> day that I am wrong on many things.  And in fact if I am wrong on
> this, please tell me so I can correct my urls.

All I can say is that to the reader, such URL's are less helpful. You can
use the URL and directory 'levels' (even though these are virtual) to
emulate a breadcrumb trail. People referred from SE's will orientate more
easily. I know I am not the only one who inspects URL's for various
purposes, as well as look at PR and Alexa ranks.

> And thanks for everyone's input on this.
> Best regards,
> Al

Pleasure to hear from you,


Roy S. Schestowitz

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