Best WordPress Custom Permalinks Structure For SEO

Beginner bloggers generally never think too much about wordpress custom permalinks structure, they just set it and start writing a blog.

But if you don’t know, I would like to inform you that permalinks structure is always a hot subject for discussion on different blogging forums and seo forums.

So, let’s dig more into the deep, and learn more about wordpress permalink structure.

An Introduction To Custom Permalinks In WordPress

A “permalink” is a permanent link to pages, posts and categories of your wordpress blog and it remains unchanged with the time. The term permalinks is most common in the blogosphere.

If you are a beginner blogger or new to wordpress permalinks, you can change your wordpress blog’s custom permalinks structure by navigating at:

Dashboard → Settings → Permalinks

Do you know structure of your permalink can affect seo of your wordpress blog? Yes, that’s why it is important to research for seo friendly wp permalinks. I had researched this for me and today I am writing my conclusion about the best custom permalinks structure for wordpress blog.

If you know seo well, you may be aware of importance of good custom permalinks. Whenever there is a debate about seo, permalinks structure gain a lot of attention. WordPress custom permalinks plays a major role in blog’s search engine rankings and overall blog optimization. I have written in detail below about effect of custom wordpress permalinks on seo.

Therefore in this post, I will tell you the best structure of it, suggest other custom structures and explain you why you should not use other permalinks structure as your.

Custom Permalinks And SEO

The one thing you definitely can do for seo is to choice a seo optimized custom permalinks structure and stick to it. So, there will not be a need to change the permalinks again.

Bad WordPress Custom Permalinks Structure

Assume if you have to change permalinks and blog contains hundreds of pages, how will you redirect your old links to new links? Do this with the help of a plugin which helps you in this matter and don’t hurt your blog’s seo and traffic. And finally check for 404 pages.

But the best way is to take a time to think about your permalinks structure before creating a blog. Permalink which are not redirected correctly hurts your blog seo badly.

Best WordPress Custom Permalinks Structure

Below I have explained different types of wordpress permalinks structures and their effect on blog seo.

Different Types Of WordPress Custom Permalinks Structure

Here I have listed different type of permalinks structures for your wordpress blog with its pros and cons. So that it will be very easy for you to decide your custom permalinks structure for your growing blog.

(1) Default WordPress Permalink Structure

By default wordpress offers permalinks like: http://techigyaan.com/?p=123

In this format, every post will be recognized by its post id which will provide no idea to the readers or search engines on which topic the post is about.

Having no keywords in permalinks will hurt your blog’s seo. So, it is not good to use it and it’s not seo friendly.

Most of the beginner bloggers start a wordpress blog and write a good blog post but forget to change the default wordpress permalinks structure to seo friendly structure and miss out optimization of wordpress custom permalinks for seo.

(2) Day And Name WordPress Permalinks Structure

This permalinks structure will look like:http://techigyaan.com/2012/07/27/sample-post/

This will arrange the posts according to the date and then name of the post. This may be considered as a good permalinks structure. This is the most widely used wordpress permalinks structure.

As this permalink include the date in it, PHP does not has to scan whole wordpress directory, it will scan only the particular date and shows required post fast when a search query is made. This reduce the blog loading time which is good for seo.

But I will not suggest you to use this type of permalinks structure. As this permalinks structure include date, month and year, it occupies text area in url and dilute the url heavily.

There is no any issue if your domain name is short but if your domain name is long, you will lose your keyword competition by adding keywords in the last of permalinks. Because google only displays first 70 characters of url in serps.

Other thing I don’t llike about this structure is it tells your reader how old your blog post is! Therefore you will lose some readers only because of your permalink structure. You will get better seo benefits by using other recommended custom permalinks structure.

Different Custom Permalinks Structure

(3) Month And Name WordPress Permalinks Structure

This wordpress permalinks structure will look like: http://techigyaan.com/2012/07/sample-post/

this permalink structure resembles the above permalink structure except the date part. This month and name wordpress permalinks structure is better than the above day and name permalinks structure.

Its pros and cons are same as above except it is less diluted than above due to date deletion from it.

(4) Numeric WordPress Permalinks Structure

This wordpress permalinks structure will look like: http://techigyaan.com/archives/123

This will display the article direct from the archives pack. So, it will increase your blog loading time.

But as it includes only post id in it, you will lose keyword inclusion advantage and hurt your seo.

I do not recommend this type of permalinks structure.

(5) WordPress Custom Permalinks Structure

You can customize permalinks according to you needs. You will find different kinds of customized wordpress permalinks structures for different wordpress blogs. Below I have listed the most widely used custom permalinks structure for wordpress blog:

(I) [/%category%/%postname%/]

(II) [/%category%/%postname%/%post_id%/]

(III) [/%postname%/%post_id%/]

(IV) [/%postname%/]

(I) [/%category%/%postname%/]

This structure will look like: http://techigyaan.com/blogging-tips/write-a-blog/

Including a category in the url is the good seo practice. It helps you to rank higher for your category keywords. But as I told you before if your domain name contains more characters, avoid using this custom permalinks structure.

If you want to use this structure, be sure to choose a category names short and meaningful.

(II) [/%category%/%postname%/%post_id%/]

This structure will look like: http://techigyaan.com/blogging-tips/write-a-blog/123/

This custom permalinks structure is seo friendly, contains keyword, no date included and fulfils the requirements for the google news blog (url must include unique number), So this is a good wordpress permalinks structure. If you want to use this structure, be sure to choose a category names short and meaningful.

But the issue with this type of url is that starting a permalink with the category, author, tag or post name fields is not good for performance. It makes your blog a little slow. Because wordpress will have to run more queries to show this post. I do not recommend it.

Read what Amit Agarwal think about this type of custom permalinks.

(III) [/%postname%/%post_id%/]

This type of structure will look like:http://techigyaan.com/write-a-blog/123/

It has more pros and less cons than above type of permalinks structure. The best thing about this permalinks structure is that it includes post name (keyword), seo friendly, no date included and the major thing is it fulfills all requirements for google news blog.

I recommend this wordpress permalinks structure for those who wants to start a google news blog.

(IV) [/%postname%/]

This type of structure will look like: http://techigyaan.com/write-a-blog/

This custom permalinks structure is the best for keyword optimization. And gives priorities in search engine rankings. This structure is very seo friendly, no date included and makes permalinks short and simple.

Post name custom permalinks is short, simple and has nothing in it which will affect your search engine optimization.

Which Is The Best Custom Permalinks Structure

Accordind to the research I have done, [/%postname%/] type is the best wordpress custom permalinks structure.

And if you have a short and meaningful categories, [/%category%/%postname%/] type custom permalinks is the second choice to use. Read what Joost de Valk says about this.

But If you are preparing a blog for google news blog, the most preferred permalinks structure is [/%postname%/%post_id%/] type.

Before Some time, Matt Cutts, Google Engineer switched from his WordPress blog’s custom permalink structure domainname.com/year/month/day/post-name/ to domainname.com/post-name/ and here is a video giving explaination:

In video above, Matt Cutts did not clearly mentioned abot seo advantages of using simple post name wordpress permalinks, but he mentioned that such custom permalinks helps in keeping things simple.

Which Type Of Custom Permalinks Do You Prefer?

Ok. Now it’s your turn. Let me know what is flowing in your mind. Which is the best wordpress permalink structure according to you and how it has affected your blogs traffic? If you have any query regarding this topic, do let me know via comment.

If you find this post helpful, feel free to share it on social networks.

  • First Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/botosynthetic/7459282728/
  • Second Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pratanti/5359581911/sizes/

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