While reading through the Review My Blog for a Free Linkback reviews, I came across quite a few blogs that are using the default WordPress URL permalink system. This is a mistake many new bloggers make and it may cost you in lower Google search ranking. Fortunately, this mistake is very easy to correct.
Dynamic URL vs. SEO Friendly URL
By default, WordPress names its URL with a dynamically generated sequential number. The number is placed after the domain name and looks something like http://www.johnchow.com/?p=1508. To Google, this doesn’t mean anything. Google will have to spider my content to figure out what the article is about. Contrast this with http://www.johnchow.com/new-ad-network-auctionads/. With this SEO friendly URL, Google can figure out immediately what the article is about. I have a much better chance of showing up in the search engine results page using a SEO friendly URL than a dynamic one.
Turning On SEO Friendly URL
To turn on SEO friendly URL, go to Options in your WordPress control panel and choose Permalinks. From there you have four choices for displaying your URL: Default, Date and name based, Numeric, and Custom. You will want to use Date and name based or custom because they are the most search engine friendly. I use the custom setting for my URLs – it shows my domain name followed by the post name. The custom structure to do it this is /%postname%/
Before WordPress can update to SEO friendly URL, you need to make your .htaccess file writable. FTP into your site, find your .htaccess file in the root folder and CHMOD it to 666. 😈 You can set it back to normal after WordPress updates the permalink structure.
If you’re not running SEO Friendly URLs, then go turn it on now.