Support » Fixing WordPress » Why Permalink?

  • It is not clear to me why permalinks are an important option, though it *is* clear to me that they must be since a lot of energy goes into them.
    Is it the “permanent” bit, if so, what is impermanent about
    as far as I can tell that 63 *is* permanent.
    I have assumed it is to do with search engine behaviour but while there are always a million different theories about SEO, my understanding is that a link such as the one above is fine with the search engines (google in particular), that not only will it be followed but also it will not be ranked significantly differently from any other form of link.
    What am I missing

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • I don’t think it’s just for search engines.
    It’s also a lot more friendly for people. People use your weblog too right, and the basic theory is that they want to see something that makes sense.
    The cryptic url is just as permanent.

    yeah, by looking at the post uri i can tell the date i posted and what the post is all about!

    Permalinks are important because they allow people to link to a specific post.
    Nice permalinks via the rewrite rules make things easier on your readers – aside from looking better. People can quickly go to any date in your archives with very little effort.
    I think this is fairly important. Besides, nobody likes looking at a big mess of a url. Too hard to pass along to friends.

    In the wee, early days of blogging, you had all your posts on a single page, with each post containing the full content.
    If your site was configured to only show x days worth of posts at a time, people might be hesitant to link to your main page because the post they were interested might not be there when someone finally got around to click there.
    Someone came up with the idea of including permanent links to individual posts, and “permalinks” were born.

    The link you cited above is not permanent, actually.
    Aside from the things you have little control over, such as the
    http://, it assumes that there will always be support, specifically browser support, for pages with a .php extension.
    If php becomes obsolete in five or ten years (or tomorrow, who knows these days) and you’re still running the blog, you might find yourself transferring all of those old .php pages into a new language, hopefully by use of a nifty program that will do it for you. In the process, however, all the links like the one you gave get broken.
    The permalinks, not being based on the file’s extension or location,
    except by archive values based on date, post number, and/or subject, which will hopefully not change, will probably be valid for a lot longer. (I do think permanent is a bit optimistic….) But the idea is to make them as independent of, and resistant to, technological change as possible.
    In addition, index.php?p=63 doesn’t mean anything to a person looking at it, but “/2004/04/03/264” or “/2004/04/03/man-bites-dog” does. If they’re looking at a link that’s talking about a specific event, they can tell just by looking at the URL how out-of-date the information may be or how close to the actual event. They can also, by removing /03/264 easily see all of the posts for April of 2004.

    incidently, having the friendly permalinks is helpful for search engines, in that most se algorhythms do give words in the uri extra weight. there are many, many factors, but that is definitely one. whether or not you choose to use the words or not, of course, is a personal choice. i like them because they are more descriptive and more attractive, and i don’t feel like my readers need to think about the query string.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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