Permalinks…What are permalinks? A permalink is a permanent link/url, assigned to a blog or forum entry. It is useful for linking to and or locating an entry once it has moved from the front page to the archives.
Ok, but how can a permalink help with search engine placement? Well, I found myself asking the same questions a couple of weeks ago when I stumbled upon a plugin for WordPress called Dean’s Permalinks Migration and began researching permalinks, their purpose and how they can benefit in getting traffic to my blog.
Here is what I found:
WordPress typically defaults permalinks to a post ID. If you look in options – permalinks you will find a custom option for you to change the way your permalinks are created. It is recommended that you change the permalink custom option to, /%category%/%postname%/. But WAIT, before you go changing things you will want to download, install and configure the plug-in mentioned above, Dean’s Permalinks Migration. With this plug-in, you can safely change your permalink structure without breaking the old links to your website, without hurting your google pagerank.
Once you have the plug-in installed you will want to configure the plug-in with your current permalink structure. This was a bit hard for me to figure out, so I will include it here. Go to Options – PermalinksMigrations and input your old permalink structure. If your current structure is post id, then you will want to use /%post_id%/. Once you have done that you will want to change your permalink structure to /%category%/%postname%/. You can do that by going to Options – Permalinks and inserting the change into the Custom, specify field.
Now I bet you are asking yourself, ok but what does this do for my blog? How will this help with my search engine rankings? Well, search engines are keyword based and having a link to a blog entry that looks like this: http://certifiedhosting.com/blog/?p=123 doesn’t really do much for you in regards to keywords. BUT…if you have a link that looks like this: http://certifiedhosting.com/blog/funny-stuff/25-easy-steps-to-building-a-web-page/ not only are you including keywords that are relevant to your post, but you are describing to potential readers what your post is about.
So enough talking about permalinks, get out there and take control of your permalinks. In just a few short weeks you too can increase your search engine rankings!