Zen Cart SEO | Dynamic URLS vs Static URLs

Online stores and content manangement systems automatically generate dynamic URLs. These are usually very long urls containing a bunch of characters whereas static urls are much shorter. Shorter(static) URLs were considered to be search engine friendly so site owners would convert dynamic urls to static ones. To do this your server would need to accept what’s called mod rewrite. You create a .htaccess file on the server containing code that automatically converts a dynamic URL to a static URL.

Google’s latest announcement

Google recently announced it now indexes dynamic urls. For example if you enter Remington Stainless Steel Sinks in the Google search box you will notice the URL for that web page is extremely long, however it appears on the first page of Google. This means Google now indexes dynamic URLs.

Search engine modification module

If you still prefer to create short URLs install the “Ultimate SEO URLs” mod.

It will transform a dynamic URL from




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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Herman Drost is the CEO of http://www.iSiteBuild.com
Affordable Web Site Design, Web Hosting and Marketing.