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Hrmm... so what about all thos DNN, Joomla, TYPO3 rewrites i’ve written, do i have to change them back?
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from g1smd 2252 Days ago #
Votes: 0

See also:   Google says Stay Away From URL Rewriting! Seriously?   started yesterday.

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from SeanIM 2252 Days ago #
Votes: 4

As long as Google isn’t going to apply a penalty for continuing to use mod_rewrite I’d consider continuing to use static looking pages, as from a user perspective, clean url names are just easier to remember...eg; blog/p2.php  vs  blog/some-descriptive-title/...and also pre-informs or reinforces what the page is about.

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from semlady 2252 Days ago #
Votes: 1

The tone of the original article seems to suggest that the issue here is data management, not SEO. Many large sites from respected organizations have trouble with multipe URLs for each page, sometimes linked to 3 different ways on the same page. Yes, Google can "ignore" 2 versions of the page, but if all other things are equal, then figuring out which one should be considered authorative could be a little like splitting hairs. Making it easy for these larger orgs to feel comfortable using the "naked" dynamic URL could reduce the net number of URLs googlebot has to crawl.  I personally wouldn’t get too upset about this. 

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from Phil 2252 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Sure, lets all make it easier for Google, I’ll remove rewrites if they give every site in the world +1 toolbar PR :)

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from WayneSmallman 2252 Days ago #
Votes: 2

So instead of Google making their search product work the way we do, they instead shift the goal posts and expect everyone to play their game? I think these guys need to get their collective act together -- Google != Web

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from monchito 2252 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I would definitely not get upset about this. G basically says: ’hey, a lot of people think we can’t follow urls with parameters, but we can. So don’t think you MUST rewrite URLs for better rankings. Heck, so many people do it wrong, so please don’t do it if you don’t know how’.The rest of the post seems to me like a (somewhat clumsy) explanation of that with examples that generate more questions than answers

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from MattCutts 2252 Days ago #
Votes: 6

Yup, monchito. WayneSmallman, in my opinion what this post says is "We do a solid job on sites with dynamic parameters, and lots of people make mistakes when they try to rewrite their urls to look static, so you might want to try the dynamic parameter route because that can work quite well."<div></div><div>In essence, it’s Google saying "We’ll come to webmasters and the natural way to write dynamic parameters rather than asking you to rewrite everything as static if you don’t want to." So we’re trying to come closer to webmasters, not wanting webmasters to necessarily move toward us. If you already have a site and it’s doing well the way that it currently is--great. In that case, you probably don’t need to change anything. But if you’re starting a new site, it’s worth considering staying with dynamic parameters instead of doing large amounts of rewrites (which some webmasters do in unusual ways that don’t always work well in search engines). That’s my take, at least.</div><div></div><div>It’s not like either choice would get you penalized in Google; all of this is just advice to give more information to webmasters when they’re making their choice of site architecture.</div>

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from paisley 2251 Days ago #
Votes: 2

@MattCutts - Thank you for the clarification sir.

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from tonyadam 2251 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Matt, I am having trouble wrapping my head around this because this for 1 simple reason, which this should be all about, the user. Rewriting URL’s and creating a simple clean url structure is not just a tactic for webmasters, but a tactic used to create a simple url structure for users. e.g. Digg’s URL Structure of http://digg.com/tech_news/upcoming/most/ and trimming back to http://digg.com/tech_news/upcoming/ or even further http://digg.com/tech_news/ for the popular queries.That is what confuses me about this post the most in that it basically is saying, lets focus on search engines and really in essense, we are hurting the user experience (or even forgetting about the user all together)I could be wrong in my conclusions gathered from the post, but, that is what I came to the conclusion of by reading the post.

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from alledia 2251 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Thanks MattWe run large website focused on SEO and Joomla ... this post really put the wind up quite a lot of our users, probably because its a "somewhat clumsy explanation" as mentioned earlier.Your explanation makes a lot more sense.

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from g1smd 2251 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@tonyadam --  Digg’s structure is good, but try "paring back the folders" on most sites that are using rewrites and the new URL will either send a 404 or more likely will give you some junk error pages generated from the CMS with an erroneous "200 OK" status. In a few circumstances, it might end up sending you unexpected random Duplicate Content.There is also serious comment and discussion of this topic over at:  http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/3750106-2-20.htm

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from TheRealTerry 2251 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I’m glad Matt clarified, so as not to alarm people. I still think you should rewrite URLs, just be sure you do it correctly, for 2 big reasons: 1) User-Friendliness (which should be more important than Search Engine Friendliness) and 2) there are other search engines out there than Google.I think Matt makes a good point, that when you mod-rewrite make sure the site still behaves as it should. If a page doesn’t exist, it should return a 404 and 1 page should only ever have 1 URL.  All can be done real easily by including a conditional call in your code right up front before a single stitch of HTML is written. Basically, if page exists, continue, else 404.

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from bbcarter 2251 Days ago #
Votes: 0

This kind of thing keeps SEO’s in business. Everything changes, lots of confusion to clear up... :-/

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from JohnHGohde 2251 Days ago #
Votes: -3

"if you’re starting a new site, it’s worth considering staying with dynamic parameters instead of doing large amounts of rewrites (which some webmasters do in unusual ways that don’t always work well in search engines). That’s my take, at least. It’s not like either choice would get you penalized in Google; all of this is just advice to give more information to webmasters when they’re making their choice of site architecture."The more Google speaks, the more I see them mudddying the waters with their PC statements.What I find alarmining is how they consider otimizinag a dynamic URL - a rewrite.Rewrite?  I don’t see any rewrites anywhere.  I believe that the correct word is redirect.  Optimizining the urls of a new site is certainly neither a redirect nor a rewrite, but rather a first-write.

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from Jill 2251 Days ago #
Votes: 1

This kind of thing keeps SEO’s in business. Everything changes, lots of confusion to clear up... :-/That’s the problem. Nothing has actually changed, and there shouldn’t be any confusion to clear up.  Google and their silly propaganda strike again.

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from Harith 2251 Days ago #
Votes: 1

The way the article was written, might have caused some confusion. The reason could be thatJuliane Stiller and Kaspar Szymanski of Search Quality Team (who wrote the current article)  aren’t used to communicate with webmasters and SEO communities. Just to be fair.I see Matt Cutts has clearified the "confusion" in few lines. But lets keep in mind, Matt has been communicating with webmasters/SEO communities for ages and therefore he knows exactly how to explain things in understandable and clear way to the said communities.May be next time GOOG wish to post about complex issues, Matt Cutts (or John Mueller  @JohnMu) would be doing the writing :-)

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from jewelrywholesaler 2251 Days ago #
Votes: 0

It is hard to change it back, you may lost your indexes in google.Our website is real static HTML, I think dynamic URL and static URL should be equal.

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from ciaran 2251 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Matt - thanks for the clarification. You could really help the guys who wrote that post by giving them some tips on clear, concise writing - I came away thoroughly confused so can only imagine what a new webmaster would have thought.

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from MattCutts 2251 Days ago #
Votes: 4

It’s a difficult subject to write clearly about. Even static vs. dynamic there are nuances that would have made the post even longer if you wanted to dot every i. At http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/seo-glossary-url-definitions/ for example (hah: control-shift-V in Chrome makes this comment box less annoying!), I said<div><div><div>"What is a static url vs. a dynamic url? Technically, we consider a static url to be a document that can be returned by a webserver without the webserver doing any computation. A dynamic url is a document that requires the webserver to do some computation before returning the web document.</div><div>Some people simplify static vs. dynamic urls to an easier question: “Does the url have a question mark?” If the url has a question mark, it’s usually considered dynamic; no question mark in the url often implies a static url. That’s not a hard and fast rule though. For example, urls that look static like http://news.google.com/ may require some computation by the web server. Most people just refer to urls as static or dynamic based on whether it has a question mark though."</div><div></div><div><div> </div><div>So even getting to exactly what is static vs. dynamic urls can take some work. I like to see examples, so I’m glad that the post included examples. I know it’s an advanced topic, but I’d rather that we post about it and then follow up with answers than not remind people that often times dynamic urls work great in Google.</div></div></div></div>

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from timstaines 2251 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I guess the primary reason we rewrite our URL’s is so that we don’t have any link juice flow or indexing problems down the road. Often times we start out with a site using extensions in their URL’s like .asp, .cfm, .html, etc. and we prefer .php at the moment. We’ll implement static URL’s (without extensions) and use the existing pages to get started and show our customers that we can perform. After that, we usually end up with a redesign project where we build a new site in PHP. Because we had implemented the static URL’s without the .old extensions, we are now able to seamlessly convert the site to PHP without worrying about confusion on SE’s part as to which pages should be indexed - the need for .old and the .new extensions was mitigated by converting the dynamic URL’s to static ones. The links that we built are all still pointing to the same URL’s after the redesign, and the SE’s still see the same URL’s so they don’t have to figure out which ones to index, they just index the same ones they did before.

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from g1smd 2251 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I say "folder-based URLs" for URLs that look like folders, even when the website internals may be based on a CMS, and being rewritten. I find that "Parameter-based URLs" is a good description for stuff with a ? and with more stuff following it, but I sometimes also end up calling those "dynamic URLs". I say "static page" or "static website" only when the URLs exactly match the internal folder-based structure on the server. That’s my "best effort" on the matter. It’s a jungle of incorrectly used terms out there.

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from monchito 2251 Days ago #
Votes: 0

For Google, the focus is that the URLs chosen provide the best user-experience. If URL rewriting creates more problems than it solves, this is bad, even though they are ’seach engine friendly’.For SEOs, this is basically thesame, because pretty URLs that are short and descriptive provide a way better user experience. They usually also contain keywords and make sure you get a higher CTR. High CTRs are important for G too, BTW.It’s nice to know that we don’t ALWAYS need to rewrite parameters in URLs. I will usually however, continue to do so. Because I know how it works, how to avoid duplicate content issues, because it provides a better user experience and because it gives my clients’ websites more clicks.I also think that a web developer who does not know how to rewrite URLs, misses something essential in his/hers portfolio (that is a nice way of saying they suck at it)

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from willcritchlow 2251 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@mattcutts thanks for the twitter ping - I think Rand has pretty much covered my view in his post from yesterday

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from Jill 2250 Days ago #
Votes: 0

And now the client emails begin...SIGH...

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from g1smd 2250 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Hmm, the NYTimes URLs have some parts that look like folders and some parameters on the end after a ?.Strip off the parameters and you get the exact same page of content.Start meddling with the stuff that looks like folders and you get an error message.

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from rhcerff 2250 Days ago #
Votes: 0

While Google has been able to quite easily index dynamic URL’s, those with the question marks, for quite some time I would still recommend rewriting the URL to something that makes sense to a human.  Why, because you should design with people in mind and not a spider... Or do I have it very wrong?

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from yrewol 2246 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I always recommend that clients rewrite from dynamic to user friendly, keyword rich static URLs because they:are easier for people to shareare easier for users to understandare easier to type inensure that if the URL is pasted into a webpage, the keywords in the URL provide context about what the link isPrevent multiple versions of a page being created due to site architecture (where a product page is accessible from multiple categories in a retail website for example)of course, if the URL rewriting is implemented badly, it does caus emore of a problem than otherwise, but there are plenty of good resources avaialble, and we should always test what we change to make sure it works properly.

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from nBridges 2243 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I am still not sure what is causing the confusion ? just stick to static urls (if you have the option to chose between static and dynamic). If i have vbseo mod then I have no reason not to use it (ok, it may not be a good idea in few cases like for established sites with lot of content)Also I hope webmasters still keep usability in mind! I love digg and wiki links, as the url itself convey what the article is about.

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from g1smd 2243 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I would guess that the problem in Google’s eyes is that many people who use URL rewriting do it very badly, and that makes their job of crawling and indexing the web very much harder to do.One major issue is in forgetting to stop site access through the dynamic URLs, either by blocking them, or by adding a redirect that will send the user to the correct URL. So, if both work, you’re now serving duplicates for all of your content.Another issue occurs when rewriting is used to try to stuff keywords into a rewritten URL. While doing this, many sites have inadvertently also allowed parts of the rewritten URL to respond to wildcard requests. That is, you internally link to  example.com/our-great-products-25374.html  but exactly the same page of content would come up if a competitor linked to  example.com/this-company-is-fraudulent-25374.html  and the issue arises because of the poor design of the CMS, and the rewriting of the URL not being directly tied to the actual title of the page as stored in the content database.Another major issue is poor error handling... where the site will return the templated page for any and every URL that is requested, and with either duplicate content from another page or a blank templete with no content. Many such sites attempt to have a 404 error page, but again, due to poor understanding and even worse implementation, the user sees the message "Page Not Found" while the bot sees "200 OK" in the HTTP header. Some sites even inadvertently rewrite requests for  /robots.txt  so that the CMS attempts to output an article page, but fails to some error message.  Google never gets to see the real robots.txt file, so is that why they are into stuff you thought you were blocking on your site? Even the most well-known of forum, blog, social and CMS software, from the free to the most expensive, is riddled with these issues.

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