Support » Fixing WordPress » URL Scrubbing

  • Resolved deko


    I want to scrub my URLs – mainly for SEO, and because I like things spic and span. I’m using 2.1.3.

    Any suggestions on this? Plug-ins? Improvements in 2.2?


Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Sorry if I’m ignorant but what is SEO un-friendly now days?

    You can change your permalinks in the WordPress control panel, right?

    Unless you pointed to yourself in a posting. Then they could break.




    I actually wondered what you were talking about also. I even googled the term ‘scrubbing urls” to no avail.

    My not-so-common sense tells me you want to remove words like “the”, “a”, “an” etc.. from your permalinks.. Yes? no? So that you have no fluff, so to speak?

    If thats the case, Ive not seen a plugin that would help, and if it were me — I would do it by hand, just to make sure nothing got hosed. But then, I’m anal, and have a lot of time on my hands these days too 😛

    I’m with whooami. Not to mention that the search engines scrub out those prepositions already so what’s the point of that?

    No more bold. I’m corrected. Yes this thread can be hijacked but we shouldn’t




    huh? I was Not implying anything about you ccoupe by the usage of the bold font. Im sorry if it came across that way.

    Nuff said?

    Perhaps I should have said “clean URLs”

    Thomas Powell

    Jakob Nielsen

    (easy to read, no puctuation or identifiers)

    (difficult to read, complex)

    mod_rewrite is the usual way to accomplish this. Drupal has a module that supports clean urls

    Here’s a good article about mod_rewrite and clear urls.

    The point is this:

    URLs are an important part of the user interface for a website and should be user friendly.

    Other advantages include portabilty, security, and SEO.

    Ah, it is a matter of setting “permalinks”. From the WP admin Dashboard, Options–>General

    Depending on what you select it will generate an .htaccess entry. Make a copy of your old .htaccess first because you never really know what happens when you muck around in there.

    Deko, a good user experience is not an SEO issue because (1) how many users look at the url they are going too? (2) Search engines index content and the url is a small part of content unless the domain is known to be spammy.

    Security? I don’t think thats a real issue.
    Portability? – Not really. It’s only a momentary permalink until something changes. Which was the original problem. You don’t want (or maybe you should) see what wordpress does to clean up slugs. I’m not saying WP is wrong but it’s not portable, and once transformed, you’ll never get the old slug back if you need it.

    I agree that a good user experience is not an SEO issue (I never implied that), but I will maintain that URLs are an important part of a website’s UI.

    Consider this URL:

    For us humans, it contains meaningless information and is hard to decipher. When URLs are long and complex, they are difficult to repeat or remember. When URLs are clear and intuitive, they provide important clues to what a resource actually contains. Do you think you could repeat that URL above to someone you just met at lunch who wanted to visit your site?

    Jakob Nielson (among others) has done research on just how important URLs are:

    “We found that searchers are particularly interested in the URL when they are assessing the credibility of a destination. If the URL looks like garbage, people are less likely to click on that search hit. On the other hand, if the URL looks like the page will address the user’s question, they are more likely to click.”

    As for portability, a “clean” URL is not dependent on a particular domain or technology. Let’s say I own a domain name with multiple TLD extensions (which I do). I can have my clean URL point to a .com site, or a .net site, or a .org site. And if I rewrite my site in Python or, then people (and search engines) don’t have to learn a new file extension (.php, .py, .aspx, .htm, etc.).

    I’ll defer to the sites I’ve already referenced for how clean URLs improve security and SEO. This “clean” URL debate has been going on for some time.

    I guess I never really messed around with the permalink feature in WP. But that sounds like what I’m looking for. I’m pretty good with mod_rewrite so I’m sure I can massage this into something that will meet my needs.

    Thanks for the tip.

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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