BEST PERMALINK SETTINGS FOR WORDPRESS SEO

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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In terms of SEO and ranking, there is little benefit to keeping the .html extension present in your URLs. In the video below, Google’s John Muller gives you some advice on changes in your file extensions:

If your domain name is nice and short and you use short, yet descriptive category names, you can easily include a category in your permalink structure which can benefit your website, but beware: if you end up with a lengthy slug and category name, it will make sharing the URL more difficult and won’t have much-added value in Google.

The discussion whether or not you should forcibly add .html (or any other extension) can be ended very quickly: Don’t do it. It won’t help you and if you add certain extensions such as .exe, it can actually hurt your rankings.

Should I add .html to my permalink structure?

You might expect that the answer to this question would be a simple yes. However, if you’ve been blogging for a while, you might not want to make any drastic decisions. Have you been using dates in your permalink structure for the past few years? Then it might be wise to not switch to a structure without them. If you only just started then switching won’t cause you much harm and might even be a huge beneficial step.

For an added bonus, we recommend adding your main keyword somewhere in the post’s name. When checking out the snippet preview in our plugin, you’ll see your keyword emphasized in the URL if it’s been detected in your slug (see image below).

It might help slightly, but if your focus keyword is present in the first few words, you’ll be fine. Matt explains this at great length in the following video.

For Nginx, you can use the following snippet in your site configuration:

If you do decide to get rid of dates in your permalink structure, you can add the following redirect to your .htaccess file (if you’re on Apache) to ensure that the old URL ( /yyyy/mm/dd/%postname%/ ) points to the new one:

If you decide to change existing permalinks always test this first in a staging environment. And do note that exiting social shares will be lost if you change it.

However, if you’re still using the “old style” urls (?p=) then it’d be wise to switch regardless of how long you’ve been blogging. This will greatly improve your blog’s potential to be found in Google’s search results.

Should I use the category in my permalink structure?

The snippet preview matches the keyphrase in the slug and meta description.

If you can make your title four- or five-words long – and it is pretty natural. If you have got a three, four or five words in your URL, that can be perfectly normal. As it gets a little longer, then it starts to look a little worse. Now, our algorithms typically will just weight those words less and just not give you as much credit.

At Yoast, we recommend using a simple and clear permalink structure. Ending your URL with the post name is the preferred method and optionally you can prefix the post name with the category, which results in one of the two following permalink structures:

Overall, permalink structures won’t differ much from website to website if done correctly. We advise that you make sure your permalink structure is properly set before avidly writing posts. If you do decide to change your permalink structure over time, make sure you properly redirect users from the old structure to the new one.

Using dates in your URL never had many benefits. When you add dates to your permalink structure, you automatically ‘date’ your posts. People will naturally look for posts with a more recent date, assuming that they contain the best information. However, sometimes older post can hold very valuable information, but won’t get the same amount of clicks due to their age.

My blog is on Google News. Don’t I need numbers in the URL?

And with the category prefixed:

In this interview with Matt Cutts, Matt mentions the following regarding the length of your slug:

The short answer here is: no. Back in the day, Google News required you to use a three-digit number in your URLs in order to be included in the News index. A way around this was to have a separate XML sitemap. However, since September 2015, both the three digit unique number and XML sitemap are no longer required.

If you decide to use categories in your permalink structure, make sure that you only select one category per post. For some more information regarding using categories in your permalink structure, I advise you to watch the following video by Matt Cutts.

In the past, we received a lot of questions regarding optimizing your WordPress SEO URL / permalink structure. Questions ranging from whether you should have the category in your permalink structure to the length of your slugs. In this post, we’ll address some of these questions and attempt to give you a better understanding of your permalink structure.

If you need to change your URLs, for example, if you move to a new content management system that doesn’t allow you to use .html URLs at all, keep in mind that this change would be a restructuring of your website. You would need to redirect the old URLs to the new ones.

Setting the best custom structure is crucial for website performance reasons and search engine optimization. Its important to use a structure which is both good for performance and contain keywords for better Seo.

Did you try and re-save your Permalinks?

Clearly its an issue with your Permalink structure for specific pages.

Pretty Permalinks.

A popular structure for performance is http://yourdomain.com/year/month/postname/.

Even though none of these structures contain category in the permalinks, you can still use and change categories without breaking any of your links or without the need to use redirects if you do change the category your posts are assigned to.

It is also advisable to keep your main focus keywords at the start of your permalinks while shorter permalinks generally receive better results in the search engines.

Your site visitors cannot read this url and neither can the search engines as its not descriptive of your page/post title and content.

Its impossible to say without a code review as its too localized.

Yes re saved , this issues coming with all products pages , other pages URL fine , it means other pages ( contact us ,about us pages) URL http://example.com/page-title.

Comments.

Hello , After change permalinks to custom permalinks in my website URL show http://example.com/sample-page/page-title so i need to remove sample-post in URL, i can not find where it is coming, my website running with wp e-commerce plugin . kindly help me to solve my problem.

Brad Dalton says.

so i think this matter coming with wp e-commerce plugin or somewhere related it . any comment .

Example: http://yourdomain.com/?p=n1 (Ugly Permalink Structure)

Leave a Reply Cancel reply.

Using a number before the text description contained in your postname rather than using a category text name decreases the page loading time of your posts and pages.

Brad Dalton says.

Not to hard to work out this page is about Tbone steaks and filed under the steaks category. Highly descriptive and excellent for searchers looking for information on tbone steaks!

The reason is that these are text fields. Using them at the beginning of your permalink structure takes WordPress more time to distinguish your Post URLs from Page URLs (which always use the text “page slug” as the URL).

For Website performance i would suggest any of the above 5 listed in point form.

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