Updating Search Engine Friendly Links with WordPress

Last week, Melanie Phung pointed me to an interesting post (via Twitter) by Robert Rolfe on how SEO’s are giving the wrong advice when creating search engine friendly links with WordPress.

I’ve historically recommended using a custom permalink structure which includes only the /%postname%/ element. This eliminates the date-based folder hierarchy while still enabling the creation of a keyword-friendly web address.

Rolfe indicates (and this can be supported in WordPress documentation) that using text based variables to begin the permalink structure negatively impacts speed and performance. WordPress “must distinguish page URL’s from post URL’s” and stores this extra information in its database.

According to WordPress Documentation
…it is best to start your permalink structure with a numeric field, such as the year or post ID.

Personally, I have not experienced performance issues using only the /%postname%/ element for permalinks on any of the blogs I run or manage. I find a shorter URL more appealing and (in my opinion) it helps mitigate the potential issue of a long URL breaking due to a line break in email or getting mistyped when referenced.

I also had avoided using a date-based structure because I block archives from being indexed in search engines. Before Joost de Valk developed the Meta Robots plugin, it was a bit more challenging to do this (especially when using date-based permalink structure).

That said, I did find Rolfe’s information of interest and it is an easy adjustment to start using the post ID to begin WordPress permalinks going forward. I’ll make a slight modification to my original post and will be recommending using /%post_id%/%postname%/ as a custom permalink structure from here on out.


7 Responses to “Updating Search Engine Friendly Links with WordPress”

  1. 7 Simple Ways to Customize a WordPress Blog for SEO | Cape Cod SEO on June 14th, 2009 10:01 pm

    […] Updating Search Engine Friendly Links with WordPress […]

  2. Updating Search Engine Friendly Links with WordPress | Cape Cod SEO | bllogger on June 15th, 2009 3:52 am

    […] Read more from the original source: Updating Search Engine Friendly Links with WordPress | Cape Cod SEO […]

  3. Greg HIll on June 18th, 2009 10:21 am

    Hey Derek,

    Intersting points. Using the /%post_id%/%postname%/ if ID is =>100 is also helpful in getting posts into Google News.


  4. Derek on June 18th, 2009 4:33 pm

    Greg – that is a very good point (particularly for blogs with multiple authors)

  5. rusli zainal sang visioner on June 28th, 2009 4:37 am

    nice tips.. for future if i use word press..thanks

  6. SEO Company on June 28th, 2009 6:53 pm

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  7. Kathy Baka on July 8th, 2009 10:08 am

    Definitely some great pointers here. I will put some to use.. Thanks for the information..