Blogging today has become a necessity and is growing in profusion. It helps both the reader and the writer. Permalink structure plays a very important role for your blog. Most people who start blogging don’t know this and lack of knowledge of permalink structure leads to improper search engine optimization (SEO) for your blog. What is permalink? Basically, Permalink is a permanent link to the writer’s page and posts which do not change over the time. They are also what all search engines use to effectively link to your website. So for a writer/blogger, it is essential to have the best permalink structure for their blog.
One should properly choose a permalink structure as the default permalink structures offered by websites are not Search Engine Optimized. For example, a website may have a permalink structure for you: http://www.abc.com/?x=213. This is not search engine friendly and it will definitely affect your citations. So for a blogger, it is ultimately necessary to choose the best permalink structure. Your permalink is the very first thing you should consider changing when you are setting up your blog for the first time. One might ask that we can change our permalink later. Yes, we can. For this, you need to use the 301 redirection for your new Uniform Resource Locator (URL). The biggest drawback in this is that your site traffic is affected to a great extent. So if you have a site which has a lot of traffic it is not recommended to change your permalink later. We can safely conclude that setting the best permalink structure according to your type of post and need is one of the most essential things to be done.
Almost every blogging website offers the following permalink structures
- Default: http://www.abc.com/?x=213
- Day and Name: http://www.abc.com/2015/10/15/post/
- Month and Name: http://www.abc.com/2015/10/post/
- Post name: http://www.abc.com/post/
- Numeric: http://www.abc.com/archives/999
- Category and Name: http://www.abc.com/%category%/%postname%
- Custom: /%Post name %/
According to experienced professionals in the software industry, the following are considered as the best permalink structures:
- Post Name: This is liked by almost all the bloggers because it keeps short and memorable URLs. Many personal bloggers use it and it is very user-friendly and effective for the search engine. They have nothing extra which will affect your on page SEO score. Although this type of structure is not at all suitable for the websites which post many times in a day. The reason is that it becomes very tedious to always come up with unique post names. Best example would be a news blog. For the same kind of news being updated, they cannot use the same post name again.
- Category and Post name: This type of structure is also helpful. It helps to create a hierarchical structure of the content on a particular website. It also helps the visitors to know which post they are viewing. Another part of this structure is that it helps to put all your keywords in your URL. It greatly helps to improve your SEO score. It is essential to be careful while using this type of structure, depending on the indexing structure you use there is a very high chance that it may lead to duplicate contents in your blog or post which will affect your blog greatly. Also, the concerned blogger must keep in mind that the category and post name must be kept small as they can.
Another type of permalink structures widely used is using dates. High traffic news websites usually use it, having said that it takes away the privilege to update your post at later date. Also, readers will get to know how old the post is.
New Bloggers might definitely be insisting and tempted to create a custom permalink structure. Definitely, it will not be the best permalink structure as a new blogger may have no idea on how the SEO works for a particular keyword. Studying SEO is very important and also social media votes, back link and domain authority also play a very important role.
One important thing to be noted by everyone is that Google does not worry about how deep your set of directories is. So if you have a root page and link it to a very deep page, that deep page would still get the same rank as your root page. This is mentioned by Google engineer Matt Cutts. The thumb rule is that the permalink structure helps to keep things simple.
Reading through this blog we realize that the question is still unanswered. There is no generalized answer for the best permalink structure. If there would have been a generalized answer, only one permalink structure would have existed and everyone will be using the same. The question of best permalink structure will not be in existence then. The appropriate answer for this is that the best permalink structure for your blog depends on your traffic and the type of posts you have. Having summarized all the permalink structures you can the best which fits your type of blog.
Before finalizing your permalink structure following things must be kept in mind:
- Try to use simple permalinks.
- User must prefer dashes over underscores.
- Compulsorily use your keyword in your permalink.
- Never change your permalink. Think twice before setting your permalink initially.
- Don’t use stop words such as – is or are in your permalink.
Using www or non-www URL’s in your domain is also a part needed to be addressed. As the world prefers short and simple versions you can use non-www version of the domain structure. Also, it gives you more space for your permalink structure. If you prefer non-www structure kindly note that you must make sure that www version of your site is effectively directed towards the non-www version avoiding duplication issues.
Here onwards whenever you set up a blog think about the best permalink structure according to your website and posts and also use SEO friendly permalink structure rather than using any other random permalink. All the best for your new blog!