Boost Your Google Search Rank With Url Rewriting

 

Search engine optimisation, otherwise known as getting to the first page on a Google search results page, is what we all want when users search for our services. To achieve this difficult goal you need to follow a number of best practices as well as having great content. This post outlines the best practice of manipulating page addresses automatically often called Url Rewriting. Url Rewriting is easy to do and recommended by Google.

If you are not a techie you are probably not aware that a web page address can be typed into a browser in many different ways. For instance, all of these addresses bring up the same content:

http://nytimes.com/

http://NyTimes.com/

http://nytimes.com/?

http://nytimes.com?

But they are all slightly different. Google doesn't like page addresses that bring up the same content but are slightly different. So it advocates Url Rewrite rules that it expects and grades your SEO on accordingly. A Url Rewrite is a bunch of code on your website that manipulates the page address the user typed into something else. When the rule is executed the page address is transformed. This transformed address is what Google stores and shows in search results.

These transformations are not automatic, you have to set them up and the rest of this posts details the rewrites you need to put into place.

1. All page names should have a trailing /

http://nytimes.com 

should rewrite to... 

http://nytimes.com/

2. Strip the ?  if nothing follows it:

http://nytimes.com? and  http://nytimes.com/? 

should rewrite to... 

http://nytimes.com/

3. Prefer www addresses to non www addresses:

http://nytimes.com 

should rewrite to...

http://www.nytimes.com/

4. Force lower case in all Urls:

http://NYtimes.com 

should rewrite to... 

http://www.nytimes.com/

5. Identify pages by descriptive names, not numbers. Note that this often needs to be programmed by your developer and may not be possible in a rewrite rule:

http://nytimes.com/news?id=318 

should rewrite to...

http://nytimes.com/news/how-to-be-a-realist/

6. When multiple numbers are necessary to identify a page, create multiple / based descriptions:

http://nytimes.com/news?id=318&category=existentialism 

should rewrite to... 

http://nytimes.com/news/318/existentialism/

7. Use hypens instead of spaces:

http://nytimes.com/news/how to be a realist/ 

should rewrite to... 

http://nytimes.com/news/how-to-be-a-realist/

8. Separate multiple words by hypehns:

http://nytimes.com/news/HowToBeARealist/

should rewrite to... 

http://nytimes.com/news/how-to-be-a-realist/

9. If you rename pages that Google has already indexed, provide what's called a 301 redirect to avoid being penalised when Google can't find a page it expected. 301 redirects generally need to be programmed manually by your developer.

Technically UrlRewrites are achieved by modifying a htaccess filehttp://httpd.apache.org/docs/current/howto/htaccess.html for php sites or by adding rewrite rules to an ASP.NET website http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/tip-trick-url-rewriting-with-asp-net and are something you should definitely ask your developer to do.

Connect with me on LinkedIn https://au.linkedin.com/in/petrassurna

Need expert help with your SEO? You can email me at petras.surna@yart.com.au,Skype petras.surna or call me on 0412 063 453 for help. For more see www.yart.com.au

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