Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Moving content and changing to text urls

We are using Drupal for our content management and
wonder about changing the urls for our site. The old
urls were with ID numbers and a short query string


and the new will be


Should we have any concerns about this move?

Well, switching to text urls is good for two reasons.
1. Search engines handle text urls better than query*
2. Keyword rich urls will emphasise the content of each
page to Google

One further issue to consider. If this is being used to
create new urls for content that has already been indexed,
then you MUST have a way to create redirects from the old
query URL to the new text url. If you do not use redirects,
you will create a large number of 404s (page not found)
for your already indexed content.....a very bad thing.

Finally, make sure all redirects are permanent redirects
(301) not temporary redirects (302).


* Google on Query string urls...

If you decide to use dynamic pages (i.e., the URL contains
a "?" character), be aware that not every search engine spider
crawls dynamic pages as well as static pages. It helps to keep
the parameters short and the number of them few.

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