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Use mod_rewrite and regular expressions to implement URL rewriting.
Follow exercises to practice rewriting numeric and keyword-rich URLs.
Create a PHP “link factory” library to help you keep the URLs in your site consistent.
Why Do URLs Matter?
Many search engine marketers have historically recommended placing relevant keywords in URLs. The
original rationale was that a URL’s contents are one of the major criteria in search engine ranking.
Over time, this has changed. It is now a less important criterion with regard to search engine ranking.
On top of that, dynamic sites make employing such URLs more difficult. That does not mean, however,
that creating such URLs with relevant keywords is obsolete and unnecessary!
So let’s enumerate all of the benefits of placing keywords in URLs:
Doing so still has a small beneficial effect on search engine ranking in and of itself.
The URL is roughly 20% of the real estate you get in a SERP result. It functions as a call to action
and increases perceived relevance.
The URL appears in the status bar of a browser when the mouse hovers over anchor text that
references it. Again — it functions as a call to action and increases perceived relevance.
Keyword-based URLs tend to be easier to remember than
Often, the URL is cited as the actual anchor text, that is:
<a href=””></a>
In the case mentioned at point 5:
A user would likely click the anchor text including relevant keywords over a dynamic string.
Same story here — you know the effects.
Because keywords in anchor text
a decisive ranking factor, having keywords in the URL
anchor text
help you rank better for “foos.”
Static URLs and Dynamic URLs
Initially, the World Wide Web was comprised predominantly of static web sites. Each URL within a web
site pointed to an actual physical file located on a web server ’s file system. Therefore, a search engine
spider had very little to worry about. The spider would crawl throughout the web site and index every
URL in a relatively straightforward manner. Problems such as duplicate content and spider traps did not
typically exist.
Today, dynamic web sites dominate the World Wide Web landscape. Unfortunately, they frequently pres-
ent problems when one looks at their URLs from a search engine’s perspective — especially with regard
to spidering.
Chapter 3: Provocative SE-Friendly URLs
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