WordPress 301 Permalink (URL) Redirect

SEO Tutorials | February 24th, 2008 | 8 Comments

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Two days ago Andrew Pavelski dropped me an email with a interesting argument. A friend told him that using keyword rich permalinks performs better in the search engine result page rankings and he wanted to change his permalinks from the default (numeric) URL to keyword rich permalinks (where words are used as URL instead of number ID’s).

To just explain this, it is true that keyword rich URLs do perform better in the search engine results, but it does not mean that the number URLs don’t perform just as well too. And what would be the best example to prove this if not the biggest and the most famous webmaster forum, Digital Point which uses numeric URLs as well and the threads of the forum rank just as well (and in some cases over rank) regular URLs.

For example, my participation on the seocontest2008 uses a keyword rich URL and the keywords can be found on the title, heading tag, meta description and again in the URL. Linking to that contest page entrance by using the whole URL i.e. http://www.dnseo.net/seocontest2008/ where we don’t use an actual anchor text, but just the URL at all, we still get the benefits since our keyword is within the anchor text (since the keyword is in the URL).

In either case, just as having keyword rich domain having keyword rich URLs will help you and your search engine rankings, regardless the hassle or no hassle to make 301 redirects in case you decide to change your URL structure from numeric to keyword rich one with wordpress now it is easier then ever.

When Andrew asked me about the URL redirect and the change in the permalinks structure I was thinking about a plugin that does automatically redirect your old URL structure to the new URL structure. I did not thought about it much and send him an email with the plugins URL after I found it. What I forgot was that with the latest WordPress version the 301 URL redirect is already build in and this plugin is really not needed (unless you use a old version of WordPress).

So, who ever feels like it is time to change his permalinks from numeric to keyword rich ones feel free to do so, as long as you have the latest WordPress version installed, WordPress will handle it by it self.

On the older version of WordPress this function was not available and the use of the plugin was necessary for two main reasons.

  • Redirecting URLs in case you change permalinks
  • Prevent creation of duplicate pages

You did not thought about that hole did you? Well it is true. Even tho you would be using a keyword rich URL a buddy of yours that is not that buddy as you think, could link to your page using the numeric URL (where the ID of the post is used as URL). Once the spider bots would crawl his site and find the link, the numeric URL of your site would be indexed. And since those are completely different URLs but have the same identical content in the eyes of search engines it would result as duplicate content, and we have learned that we want to totally avoid duplicate content in our WordPress blog.

Well this issue has been fixed and you can change your permalink whenever you want, but you should be aware that you will most likely lose rankings for your inner pages until the old URLs don’t get replaced with the new ones in the SERPs of the search engines.

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8 Responses to “WordPress 301 Permalink (URL) Redirect”
  1. That sucks. For something so simple. Hopefully you will bounce back.

    About the low paying adsense ads, i think i may have found an article on how to find them. Im going to give it a try.
    http://www.makemoneyathome-idea.com/block_low_paying_ads.php

    There it is if your interested in checking it out.

  2. Hey there,

    Interesting article but definitively a long process. I will test it out in one of my static sites and see how it works.

    Yeah indeed it does, hope it will bounce back too (unless the penalization was made because concurrence has reported me…but wonder for what)

  3. amelia says:

    even though i am not a designer this is a good post to read 🙂

  4. Good you found the information useful, because the feeling is bed when you make such mistakes (even when you aware of such things) LoL.

    I wonder for how long it will take to get everything back to normal (unless it has been a manual penalization and no one will come back to check that its fixed), because I can’t even request for re-inclusion since the pages are indexed but the site is not ranking even for its own name.

  5. At least you are willing to admit your mistakes, learn from them, and move on. I liked this post: it was honest, straightforward, and was based on a personal experience that everyone can learn from.

    Keep up the good work,

    Andrew

  6. Well I never really blogged about hidden text, but mainly because that is a no no no for a long time and believe that many do already know. Even tho this was not a “hidden text” or link and was visible from browser spider bots could not detect it (and again, I have my doubts that this “penalization” could be for something else, but since this is the only error I am aware of (and not aware if somebody reported) I think that its because of the hidden text but I have my reserves anyway).

    Could not do less then tell everyone how a innocent mistake can turn into horror (when SEO matters).

  7. Syed Balkhi says:

    Yes this is true, as i am a designer, i have written a detailed blog post on my blog discussing this issue because it is very important that your webdesigner know that content should come first, and they need to know the divs and table tactics to make the design seo friendly.

  8. Yes but how do you fix it on older versions on wordpress to go from a 302 to 301?