Dynamic URL Optimization

    January 11, 2006

Recently I fielded a question about making dynamic urls more search engine friendly.

A specific site example was not given, so my response was not as detailed as I would have liked, but I thought a post of some recommendations here might be helpful. Feel free to comment on anything else that should be considered to make dynamic urls easier to crawl.

Simple is best for crawlable urls. Although, Google and Yahoo are much better at crawling complicated urls now than they were a year ago. As a general rule, avoid including session id information in the url and if you do need to include parameters, limit it to 2 and limit the number of characters per parameter to 10 or less. Your solution might involve some of the following:

  • Server side URL rewrite (specifics depend on platform and web application) or Permanent redirects to crawlable urls from dynamic
  • Creation of an XML or plain text site map for submission to Google Sitemaps and Yahoo. With Yahoo, the text file would contain a list of URLs with each URL at the start of a new line. There are many 3rd party Sitemap programs listed at Google
  • Creation of a HTML sitemap with 100 text links or less. If you have more than 100, break the sitemap into more than one HTML page
  • Get inbound links deep into your site from other relevant sites, blogs, directories, etc – not reciprocal, and don’t worry about silly things like page rank

Google webmaster guidelines offer some good advice as well.

What else?

Lee Odden is President and Founder of
TopRank Online Marketing, specializing in organic SEO, blog
marketing and online public relations. He’s been cited as a search
marketing expert by publications including U.S. News & World Report and
The Economist and has implemented successful search marketing programs
with top BtoB companies of all sizes. Odden shares his marketing
expertise at Online Marketing Blog offering
daily news, interviews and best practices.