Lastly, this improvement should not be implemented on a currently indexed site unless the old URLs
are redirected to their new counterparts. Other web sites may cite them even if you do not, and this
may create a duplicate content issue, as well as squander link equity.
Example #3: Keyword-Rich Rewritten URLs
Finally, here are two examples of ideal keyword-rich URLs:
This is the best approach to creating URLs, but also presents an increased level of difficulty in implemen-
tation — especially if you are modifying preexisting source code for software. In that case this solution
may not have an easy and apparent implementation, and it requires more interaction with the database
to extract the copy for the URLs.
The decision whether to use the
suffix in the URL is mostly a non-issue. You could also use a
URL such as
if you prefer
the look of directories.
This “ideal” URL presents a static URL that indicates both to the search engine and to the user that it is
topically related to the search query. Usually the keyword-rich URLs are created using keywords from
the name or description of the item presented in the page itself. Characters in the keyword string that are
not alphanumeric need to be removed, and spaces should be converted to a delimiting character. Dashes
are desirable over underscores as the delimiting character because most search engines treat the dash as
a space and the underscore as an actual character, though this particular detail is probably not terribly
significant. On a new site, dashes should be chosen as a word-delimiter.
Maintaining URL Consistency
Regardless of whether your URLs are static or dynamic, it’s important to maintain consistency. In the
case of dynamic URLs, it’s important to maintain consistent parameter order in URLs with more than
In PHP, the parameters of a query string are typically accessed by name rather than by ordinal. The
order in which the parameters appear does not affect the output of the PHP script, unless your script
Don’t get URL-obsessive! For example, it would not be recommended to change
underscores to dashes in existing URLs in an existing web site, all other things left
equal. However, in the initial design phase it would be wise to use the dash rather
than the programmer ’s tendency to prefer the underscore character. The effects of
this “optimization” are marginal at best, and changing URLs for marginal gains is
not recommended because the side effects may cause more harm than the gains —
even if everything is done properly. Use your best judgment when deciding whether
to change your current URL structure.
Chapter 3: Provocative SE-Friendly URLs
c03.qxd:c03 10:39 44