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URL masking and meaningful addresses

The thing with search engines is that they are not so keen on dynamically-generated pages. The more parameters a URL has, the bigger the chance of double-indexing, looping and getting rubbish content. So when it comes to URLS, either keep them simple or mask them -

“woodcutters.com/index.php?lang=eng&page_id=3&submenu=4&ip=234.233.22”  does not look good, for example. It could be improved with URL masking.

URL masking is a technique where addresses are made to look static, either by server-side rewriting or actually making directories and files with predefined dynamic values. Modera’s CMS systems make it easy to do this.

For example, we might want our URLs to look like this:

http://www.woodcutters.com/eng/woodcutting-safety-tips.html

Rather than like this:

http://www.woodcutters.com/eng/index.php?pageID=485

Masking the URL so it looks like the first example rather than the second offers two benefits:

  • The masked version is a more descriptive URL from the point of view of the visitor (people often hover over links and use URLs to make judgments about what pages are about, and whether or not they should click).
  • It contains keywords (“woodcutting safety tips”). This is useful, because search engines can use keywords in URLs to decide the theme or topic of a page – giving an SEO benefit. Additionally, keywords in the URL are bolded in search results, meaning people are slightly more likely to click on your link.

One thing to remember is that some search engines treat an underscore “_” as a connector of words, yet a simple hyphen “-” equals a space. So when generating page names, replace spaces like this: “woodcutters.com/safety-tips.html”

Modera example:


 

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