SEO – Don’t Rewrite Dynamic URLs To Static URLs

For several years I’ve always changed dynamic urls to static urls because search engines did not index those types of pages. This meant less visitors and sales because search engines would only index the home page.

This has all changed now according to Google’s updated WebMaster Guidelines:

Here’s a quote from the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog

“We can crawl dynamic URLs and interpret the different parameters. We might have problems crawling and ranking your dynamic URLs if you try to make your urls look static and in the process hide parameters which offer the Googlebot valuable information. One recommendation is to avoid reformatting a dynamic URL to make it look static. It’s always advisable to use static content with static URLs as much as possible, but in cases where you decide to use dynamic content, you should give us the possibility to analyze your URL structure and not remove information by hiding parameters and making them look static.”

What does this mean for the SEO of your web sites?

1. Don’t rewrite dynamic urls to static urls

If you have an online store or a web site that uses dynamic urls don’t convert then to static urls because your pages will now get crawled. This will save you a lot of time creating a .htaccess file and testing all your pages.

2. Leave your old sites alone

If yoo have an old site with old rewrites in place, leave them as they are because the pages have already been indexed by Google and have gained link popularity (other web sites have linked to those pages). If you want to change them back to dynamic urls, use a 301 redirect This will transfer the old URLS to the new URLS and preserve link popularity and rankings.


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  1. Even though the new tactic seems that you should leave your page dynamic looking, I think it is a better practice and serves the visitors better if you implement the built in function of apache mod_rewrite. In this fashion you still have the benefit of the dynamic structure being in place and you also have the benefit of a name that visitors could or would write down or remember. Many of the blog or cms systems now use this to their advantage making such a site easier for both google bot and real life users.

    So many times as seo professionals and website designers we get caught up in the SEO trap and instead of focusing on the visitor we focus on what we ‘think’ the bots might want to see. It is much better practice to focus on the needs of the visitor and customer than to focus on what an algorithm is looking for.

    Chris McIntosh Designs

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