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Choosing the best permalink stucture for blog posts - conflicting arguments?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by JunglePocket, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. JunglePocket

    JunglePocket Registered Member

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    Many people recommend that users setup their Wordpress permalinks to use either use "/postname" or "/category/postname" for best SEO structure. Ive never used categories before and have always opted for postname alone.

    Currently I'm building a very large site which will cover a lot of broad categories so placing them in an efficient structure of /category/postname would make sense. However I just discovered that including categories or any text based variable into a permalink causes slower load times.

    Wordpress says on this page:

    ""For performance reasons, it is not a good idea to start your permalink structure with the category, tag, author, or postname fields. The reason is that these are text fields, and using them at the beginning of your permalink structure it takes more time for WordPress to distinguish your Post URLs from Page URLs (which always use the text "page slug" as the URL), and to compensate, WordPress stores a lot of extra information in its database (so much that sites with lots of Pages have experienced difficulties). So, it is best to start your permalink structure with a numeric field, such as the year or post ID.""

    Im not keen on adding a numeric field as suggested above as the permalink would look horrible.

    So which do i choose?

    1) website.com/category/postname - good for internal seo, but slower pageload times

    2) website.com/postid/postname - bad internal seo, but better pageload speeds

    Or perhaps I should just stick to website.com/postname?

    What permalinks are you guys using?
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  2. gregstereo

    gregstereo Elite Member

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    I generally use /category/postname it really does give you boosts both in SEO and aesthetics, but I also make sure to optimise my sites as much as possible in other ways (e.g. WP Super Cache turned up all the way for WP sites, keeping an eye on page weights esp. when loading a page with ads/affiliates/plugins that are flash or jscript based, etc.). There's some pretty decent online page weight/load time tools that are free you can use for checking that sort of thing.
     
  3. armaan

    armaan Registered Member

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    I prefer www website.com/postname/ ( / at the end)
     
  4. MisterGemini

    MisterGemini Senior Member

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    None of the above.

    My structure actually incorporates a combination of wordpress recommendation and my own variation. You have to consider that highest weight documents for your site will be the ones that are top level to your domain. Sub category pages are treated with less weight, less importance. The document structure of your site tells a story to Google, you want it to be one that is 100% positive. In other words you will get more bang for your url by not putting your pages into subdirectories in the structure you have specified that was recommended by a lot of me too SEOs.

    In regard to using the numbers in your URL, there is an added benefit to this. I don't know if you ever operated autoblogs before, but its not uncommon when you are rather tight in your keyword targeting, to eventually create posts that have the same postname. Having a postid within your url guarantees this will never happen, and always keep all your urls unique.

    I spent a lot of time on this subject myself, and I ended up taking the best of both worlds. I place the postid at the very beginning of the URL.. and then continue the Url on with the postname (depending on the project) or include the category at the very end. So it would look something like this:

    11-postname-category/ or .html or .php etc.

    This is achieved in WP by using the following permalink structure:

    %post_id%-%postname%-%category%.html

    I like to put actual extensions on the end so that google is able to see a strcutural difference between my category/page links, and my post links.

    That little number, just makes my world a lot more easier, and my sites perform extra fast. I have seen the impact of this postname thing they talk about happen on my sites in the past. My load rates became rediculous both on the front and back. I wouldn't be overly worried about its cosmetic appearance. It's hardly noticeable when you use it this way, and I still get the full match URL I wanted. Using the category included in the domain, I likely get a related term as a bonus... again, depends on the project.

    Now there is a big flaw in Wordpress. Every category automatically gets created and shown as yourdomain.com/category/whateveritis/ << outch.. So I use a plugin called Custom Permalinks to adjust that so that I am not telling google that my documents within that directory are twice as UNimportant as pages in the main directory. I used to use Advanced Permalinks, but lately its given me nothing but grief. Doesn't seem to play well with the newer versions. With CP I can specify each url however I want, not just the directories.

    In your case, this is what I would recommend. Stay away from the subcategory structure. The cool-aid is bad.. don't drink it. If your sites however are going to be pathetic little 10 page go nowhere sites that will realize 10 visitors a day, then by all means, don't bother with the postid being in your url. If you plan to have 5000+ visitors a day like I do with my projects, you want it.

    Mister Gemini
     
  5. JunglePocket

    JunglePocket Registered Member

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    I never thought about adding categories at the end of the link. I dont understand through, if the permalinks are set like above what is the location of the posts in relation to the categories? Nice tip about the extensions.

    The plan is to eventually create 1000's of pages spread across a range of different topics. With a site this size, would you still advocate not using sub directories?

    I found http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-no-category-base/ on my travels which you may find useful to for removing category base links.
     
  6. MisterGemini

    MisterGemini Senior Member

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    The location of your posts become relative to the linking structure you incorporate within your site structure. Your site would look something like this:

    domain.com/category1/
    domain.com/1-post-category1.html
    domain.com/2-post2-category1.html
    domain.com/category2/
    domain.com/1-post-category2.html
    domain.com/2-post2-category2.html
    domain.com/category3/
    domain.com/1-post-category3.html
    domain.com/2-post2-category3.html

    How the internal structure takes place depends specifically on how you link each category together with your pages. Many talk about using Silo methods in this. Which I would recommend. Simply a matter of using conditional within your navigation structure. If you are building a big site, this is going to become necessary anyways. :)

    If you want to get really fancy you might even consider making your category a page, editing it with some custom content and having it list all your pages for that particular category which can also end in .html. Google sees the site structure based on your linking then. There are other plugins to help you accomplish this setup that are free out there. All it really takes is eliminating your categories and replacing them with pages instead and then listing specific categories within those list pages. This probably sounds confusing without an example. So feel free to ignore it. :)

    Plugin is a good find and will accomplish the same thing I think. I still prefer the one I use just because it has been more recently updated. I like plugin makers that seek to better their plugins and not abandon them. :)
     
  7. pucky

    pucky Junior Member

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    Contrary to what everyone thinks, believes or has read, Matt Cutts states, and if you look on his website, that /%postname%/ is the optimal setup. So if that's what he says that's what i use. No .html on the end, no fancy ids, no categories. Just /%postname%/. And Google seems to love my blogs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010