Search Engine Optimization Tips and Tricks – Learn how to increase visibility in Search Engines – Part 29 – Dynamic URL vs. Static URL – Part 1

There has always been a case made about using static URL’s in your site, rather than using the dynamic URL’s that are generated by many web applications. In 2008, Google came out with a statement that they have greatly improved their indexing of dynamic URL’s, and that the chance that people might not get the URL rewriting correct when they seek to convert dynamic URL’s to static URL’s is fairly high. As a result, people might start thinking that it is better to let dynamic URL’s remain as they are. Here is a link to the Google page which discusses Dynamic vs. Static URL’s (link)

While static URLs might have a slight advantage in terms of clickthrough rates because users can easily read the urls, the decision to use database-driven websites does not imply a significant disadvantage in terms of indexing and ranking. Providing search engines with dynamic URLs should be favored over hiding parameters to make them look static.
Fact: 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.

Myth: “Dynamic URLs are okay if you use fewer than three parameters.”
Fact: There is no limit on the number of parameters, but a good rule of thumb would be to keep your URLs short (this applies to all URLs, whether static or dynamic). You may be able to remove some parameters which aren’t essential for Googlebot and offer your users a nice looking dynamic URL. If you are not able to figure out which parameters to remove, we’d advise you to serve us all the parameters in your dynamic URL and our system will figure out which ones do not matter. Hiding your parameters keeps us from analyzing your URLs properly and we won’t be able to recognize the parameters as such, which could cause a loss of valuable information.

Does that mean I should avoid rewriting dynamic URLs at all?
That’s our recommendation, unless your rewrites are limited to removing unnecessary parameters, or you are very diligent in removing all parameters that could cause problems. If you transform your dynamic URL to make it look static you should be aware that we might not be able to interpret the information correctly in all cases. If you want to serve a static equivalent of your site, you might want to consider transforming the underlying content by serving a replacement which is truly static.

Does this matter to people who do Search Engine Optimization. Surprising, it does not matter. Even though there is this clear message from Google, they still advocate the use of static URL’s rather than using dynamic URL’s, and I will cover those reasons in detail in the next post.

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