Monday, February 06, 2006

SEO 101 Refresher Part 3: Dynamic URLs

A dynamic URL is a URL that has values appended to it with a ? mark.

Static URL:

Dynamic URL:

In the above example id and cat are variables with 123 & car being their values, respectively.

Most content management systems and shopping carts use dynamic URLs to efficiently display content from a back-end that allows users to usually enter content in and make new pages easily without having web development skills.

The downside is that generally when search engine see a URL with a '?' they run. Google has made progress in indexing simpler dynamic URLs, however it best to avoid them all together if possible. Content management systems and shopping carts can be expensive to implement, so how do we do this with an established site? A URL rewrite.

A URL rewrite can take a dynamic URL and rewrite it so that it appears static to the search engines and users.

Before rewrite:

After rewrite:

The URL is cleaner and the dynamic pieces are reduced to only what we need - the values. In addition we now have a static looking web page that looks like it sits on the web root.

Depending on what web server you use there are different solutions available commercially or you can develop one internally.

Good resource for Apache & Microsoft IIS URL rewriting:


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