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Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.Views: 3000
Feb 11, 2009 1:20 amDorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Reg Charie
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2340694,00.asp

I have to agree and have been beating this (dead) horse for quite a while.

SEO URLs are where the normal database numbered URL like http://dotcom-productions.com/08/product_info.php?cPath=28 would automatically be changed to something like http://dotcom-productions.com/08/hosting_for_professionals_at_discount_prices or some such.

My reasoning is thus:
Google does not like us to try to "game" their search engine and using a script to modify the normal progression of the database is doing exactly that.

The idea to change the URL is not a bad idea IF, and only IF, the Google search bot does not read the URL properly and does not list it. This used to happen. However Google has progressed far beyond not being able to read dynamic URLs and this is no longer the case.

The SEO "experts" say it is a good idea because the user (and search engines) can see the keywords in the URL, but do they really need to?
Not a bit if your pages have proper titles and descriptions.

The experts also say it because setting a site up to do this means money in their pockets.

Dorvak said "I had a run rate closing in on 1.2 million page views per month when I turned on this supposed SEO trick. Boom! I dropped to 900,000 instantly. It's taken my site months to recover."

This is what happens when you try to "game" the search engines and get discovered.

Comments?

Reg



Reg - NEW DEMO!! Turn photos into paintings http://FantasticMachines.com
All You Need is Dotcom-Productions and a Dream. http://dotcom-productions.com
0Grief http://0grief.com/special_hosting_accounts_for_my_ryze_friends.htm
CRELoaded websites http://RegCharie.com - SBTT http://thinktank-network.ryze.com

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Feb 11, 2009 1:34 amre: Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Scott Wolpow
First SEF has to be some-page not some_page

Google and others have stated that parameters are hard to follow and qualify. I do not think it will work magic, but I think it creates a better experiance for teh user.

Private Reply to Scott Wolpow

Feb 12, 2009 8:37 pmre: Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Kent Allen
I think Dvorak is incredibly bright, when it comes to his area of expertise. But as is typical with smart people, they seem to think their intelligence is omnipresent. He knows nothing of the origins of the long url and why he was led down that path. Plus... his blog posts were already very, very popular (as they should have been). He should not have expected to see any noticeable improvement in traffic, as I would expect much of his traffic comes via non-search engine sources.

The whole idea of SEO friendly urls did not come from trying to game the search engines, rather it came from the fact that the search engines were absolutely horrible at spidering dynamic urls. On my first (and still most traffic'd site), I had over 4000 unique pages of content as far back as 2002. All but 10 pages used dynamic parameters to serve up the appropriate content. And in Google... only those 10 pages were indexed. Hmmm... how to solve? Remember, this is also pre-XML-sitemaps.

I put in a php 404 handler (the less efficient way to handle SEO friend urls, but one that offers some unique flexbility) and converted all of my links to SEF links. The result... within 2 weeks, I went from 10 indexed pages to over 4000. You can guess the impact... traffic shot up significantly.

It has only been in the last year or so that search engines have really spidered dynamic urls with a high level of success, and some spiders don't appear to do a good job still.

So, to respond to Dvorak's assertion, I simply say, speak about that which you have some level of knowledge.

Kent Allen
Three Stone Media, Inc: http://www.threestonemedia.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/esoomllub

Private Reply to Kent Allen

Feb 22, 2009 11:03 amre: re: Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Eileen Brown
Hey Folks.

I agree with Kent. What works can depend on overall
structure and how well the search engine reads whatever
structural elements are used.

I don't know anyone who "knows it all" when it comes to SEO.
It appears that folks who try to play google (to game it)
do so at their own peril.

Dorvak may have conducted his experiment at odds with other
factors. Who knows? I certainly didn't see any proof that
he even understood all that might be necessary to facilitate
a real "study" on the subject.

@ Reg
"The idea to change the URL is not a bad idea IF, and only
IF, the Google search bot does not read the URL properly
and does not list it. This used to happen. However Google
has progressed far beyond not being able to read dynamic
URLs and this is no longer the case. "

Apparently some folks think this is necessary:
http://www.phpbuilder.com/board/showthread.php?t=10362018

@ Kent
"It has only been in the last year or so that search
engines have really spidered dynamic urls with a high level
of success, and some spiders don't appear to do a good job
still."

Agreed!

EB :)

Web Development - http://www.bekansas.com/
SEO Copywriting - http://www.buddycopywriting.com/copywritinghome/
Web Site Graphics - http://www.buddywebgraphics.com/
ABHP - JOIN this ACTIVE Ryze Network! - http://abhp-network.ryze.com/

Private Reply to Eileen Brown

Feb 22, 2009 4:54 pmre: re: re: Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Reg Charie
>>"It has only been in the last year or so that search
engines have really spidered dynamic urls with a high level
of success, and some spiders don't appear to do a good job
still."

It has been much longer than that and it was totally dependent on the way the dynamic URLs were made.
I have been using CRELoaded for years and the search engines have never had a problem with its dynamic URLs.

I can see using SEO URLs IF the bots cannot read your URLS.
But only if they can't. Anything else is trying to game the engines and it *may* work against you.

Reg - NEW DEMO!! Turn photos into paintings http://FantasticMachines.com
All You Need is Dotcom-Productions and a Dream. http://dotcom-productions.com
0Grief http://0grief.com/special_hosting_accounts_for_my_ryze_friends.htm
CRELoaded websites http://RegCharie.com - SBTT http://thinktank-network.ryze.com

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Feb 22, 2009 5:08 pmre: re: re: re: Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Scott Wolpow
It is not the dynamic URl that is the problem. It is the length of it. For techical reasons the bots only follow so many characters in the parameter part of the URL. Can you imagine if all sites started to use parameters with over a thousand characters?

A good article http://www.seomoz.org/blog/dynamic-urls-vs-static-urls-the-best-practice-for-seo-is-still-clear

I do not think you will be penalized for using human friendly urls, provided they reflect the pages content.
But look at it in another light. What would you click on.

scottsite.com/somepage?id-weqkewjhduihjiuewuiuih&art=jkogorprt in the organic part or

scottsite.com/somepage/seoanswers in the Paid area?
Which does google want you to do?

Private Reply to Scott Wolpow

Feb 22, 2009 5:58 pmre: re: re: re: re: Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Reg Charie
I think it is more than the length of the url Scott.. URLs can be 256 characters long

Just look at the links used by some of the news sites.

http://us.ard.yahoo.com/SIG=150eidh57/M=289534.12510369.12863962.12123427/D=news/S=95711464:FOOT2/_ylt=AvWuKc22zp2aUHRxnKd8TBfocLQF/Y=YAHOO/EXP=1235332431/L=alhYa0WTVvqyk1vERy58FA0fRkLQSUmhkS8AC9_9/B=edJZFtj8fco-/J=1235325231799950/A=5304694/R=2/SIG=1136qnvkg/*http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

Google has stated that they do not want users to "game" their engine. Changing a dynamic URL that is being properly read to a SEO URL is doing just that.
My SEO stance has always been one of "If there is doubt as to what Google will make of a practice, don't do it".

Reg - NEW DEMO!! Turn photos into paintings http://FantasticMachines.com
All You Need is Dotcom-Productions and a Dream. http://dotcom-productions.com
0Grief http://0grief.com/special_hosting_accounts_for_my_ryze_friends.htm
CRELoaded websites http://RegCharie.com - SBTT http://thinktank-network.ryze.com

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Feb 22, 2009 7:34 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Scott Wolpow
URLs arelimited by the browser. Domains are limited to 256. I know I voted on it way back when.
Google does not say it will be penalized. What tehy do nto want is calling the page something that has nothing to do with the page. They have no way of knowing if your URLs are rewritten or not. That is done before or during parsing. In both Joomla and Magneto, the human friendly url is part of the database, same as the title and replaced on the fly.

Private Reply to Scott Wolpow

Feb 22, 2009 10:07 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Reg Charie
Google's webmaster central says "Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings."

IMO they consider converting a dynamic url that is properly spidered to a keyword rich textual version, a "trick to improve SE rankings".

Reg - NEW DEMO!! Turn photos into paintings http://FantasticMachines.com
All You Need is Dotcom-Productions and a Dream. http://dotcom-productions.com
0Grief http://0grief.com/special_hosting_accounts_for_my_ryze_friends.htm
CRELoaded websites http://RegCharie.com - SBTT http://thinktank-network.ryze.com

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Feb 22, 2009 10:19 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Scott Wolpow
I think we are talking about two things. I am not talking about going back and renaming pages, but using SEO urls from the start. But even if you rename pages, use a 301. How will google know the reason? Perhaps you decided to use a REST based sytem of Architecture? Or started a new naming convention. Perhaps you changed designs.
If you make changes to the page itself, rename them and leave 301 or 404 pages, you are still complying with teh rules.

Private Reply to Scott Wolpow

Feb 22, 2009 11:26 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Stephanie Longfellow
What ever happen to being "User" friendly? How are you going to get the page views if users don't click on them? If your content is something work looking at, then users are going to spread the word by sending the url to a friend or bookmarking your site. I know if I am recommending a site to someone I would much rather say go to www.mysite.com/newsarticles vs www.mysite.com/2007/new_articles/1003/article_on_something_really_relevant.html...

Rediculous...

My site gets all the hits I need and I use the good old fashion structure. www.mysite.com/pagename.html. Easy. User friendly.

I agree with Dorvak. We should just keep it simple and quit trying to trick Google. You'll just end up being blacklisted.

Private Reply to Stephanie Longfellow

Feb 22, 2009 11:32 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Scott Wolpow
Stephanie,
Is your site dynamic or static?

Private Reply to Scott Wolpow

Feb 23, 2009 2:51 amre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Reg Charie
They won't know the reason but they will see the results.

site/keyword-page.
Why do it if you don't have to?..

What is the advantage in doing the SEO URLs if the search engines accurately list the pages?



Reg - NEW DEMO!! Turn photos into paintings http://FantasticMachines.com
All You Need is Dotcom-Productions and a Dream. http://dotcom-productions.com
0Grief http://0grief.com/special_hosting_accounts_for_my_ryze_friends.htm
CRELoaded websites http://RegCharie.com - SBTT http://thinktank-network.ryze.com

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Feb 23, 2009 3:09 am Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Scott Wolpow
Better for humans. This is just another example of google doing evil. How could this be gaming if the URL is descriptive of the page? No differant than static pages. Google has zero means to detect what method you are using, unless the page has been indexed before. And if you content is fully dynamic every search is differant.

Private Reply to Scott Wolpow

Feb 23, 2009 3:19 amre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Reg Charie
Stephanie, If you are placing links, use code to build your links like this.

Try our great new graphic filter and turn your photos into paintings

The actual link is http://fantasticmachines.com/store/index.php?cPath=32

Reg - NEW DEMO!! Turn photos into paintings http://FantasticMachines.com
All You Need is Dotcom-Productions and a Dream. http://dotcom-productions.com
0Grief http://0grief.com/special_hosting_accounts_for_my_ryze_friends.htm
CRELoaded websites http://RegCharie.com - SBTT http://thinktank-network.ryze.com

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Feb 23, 2009 3:43 amre: Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Reg Charie
Google does have means to detect..
They can tell when a page is redirected.
I would guess that 99% or more SEO URL changes are made to PHP pages, you would not need to do it to html as they would be manually named, so that would be another clue.

Why would it be better for humans? If you have done your Title tag properly you will see what the page is all about at the top of your browser. The URL is redundant.
Anchor text should be used when placing links.



Reg - NEW DEMO!! Turn photos into paintings http://FantasticMachines.com
All You Need is Dotcom-Productions and a Dream. http://dotcom-productions.com
0Grief http://0grief.com/special_hosting_accounts_for_my_ryze_friends.htm
CRELoaded websites http://RegCharie.com - SBTT http://thinktank-network.ryze.com

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Feb 23, 2009 3:59 amre: re: Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Scott Wolpow
It is not done by redirect, but by rewriting in Apache using rewrite mod. This changes the URL name during parsing.
Google has no means to detect this.

Havinga readable uRL is much betetr to tel others, to email the link etc.

Read up.
http://www.seomoz.org/blog/dynamic-urls-vs-static-urls-the-best-practice-for-seo-is-still-clear

Private Reply to Scott Wolpow

Feb 23, 2009 7:52 amre: re: re: Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Reg Charie
If you go and check the sites that use SEO URLs systems you will see that the index page is usually a .php and then the re-written URLs are .htm and usually with a session ID after them.

I think that if Google comes across a site that does this it *could* flag the site.
If you are going to tell others, email links, why not use anchor text?



Reg - NEW DEMO!! Turn photos into paintings http://FantasticMachines.com
All You Need is Dotcom-Productions and a Dream. http://dotcom-productions.com
0Grief http://0grief.com/special_hosting_accounts_for_my_ryze_friends.htm
CRELoaded websites http://RegCharie.com - SBTT http://thinktank-network.ryze.com

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Feb 23, 2009 2:10 pmre: re: re: re: Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Scott Wolpow
Not all pages work that way. Here is one URL
http://marcoart.com/index.php/dream-big-gala-art?SID=kl0arluj7tbgvftc45a30stb71

When you email links you could lose the tail depending on the email client. It is also harder to write down when not using email.

Private Reply to Scott Wolpow

Feb 23, 2009 5:07 pmre: re: re: re: re: Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Reg Charie
Scott, that link has the .php (index) page, then the link modifier, "dream-big-gala-art?", then the session ID SID=kl0arluj7tbgvftc45a30stb71

As it is obvious to a human, it would also be obvious to a search engine algorithm that this is a dynamic php/sql website that is modifying the URLs.




Reg - NEW DEMO!! Turn photos into paintings http://FantasticMachines.com
All You Need is Dotcom-Productions and a Dream. http://dotcom-productions.com
0Grief http://0grief.com/special_hosting_accounts_for_my_ryze_friends.htm
CRELoaded websites http://RegCharie.com - SBTT http://thinktank-network.ryze.com

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Feb 23, 2009 5:24 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Scott Wolpow
The session ID could be used for many things, like a coupon or affilliate tag.

Private Reply to Scott Wolpow

Feb 23, 2009 7:16 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Reg Charie
It *could* be but if I try the link it does not bring me to the correct page if the session ID is left on. It brings me to the site's index page. If I remover the session ID I go to the correct page.

Reg - NEW DEMO!! Turn photos into paintings http://FantasticMachines.com
All You Need is Dotcom-Productions and a Dream. http://dotcom-productions.com
0Grief http://0grief.com/special_hosting_accounts_for_my_ryze_friends.htm
CRELoaded websites http://RegCharie.com - SBTT http://thinktank-network.ryze.com

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Feb 23, 2009 7:27 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Scott Wolpow
Then without the session ID how will google know the page is dynamic?

Private Reply to Scott Wolpow

Feb 24, 2009 2:19 amre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Reg Charie
By the php file extension on the index page.
While php files in themselves do not mean that the site is dynamic, rarely are php files used without a database.



Reg - NEW DEMO!! Turn photos into paintings http://FantasticMachines.com
All You Need is Dotcom-Productions and a Dream. http://dotcom-productions.com
0Grief http://0grief.com/special_hosting_accounts_for_my_ryze_friends.htm
CRELoaded websites http://RegCharie.com - SBTT http://thinktank-network.ryze.com

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Feb 24, 2009 6:33 amre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Eileen Brown

Since what the googlebot reads/indexes seems to be the issue here let's just see what google says:

URL structure

A site's URL structure should be as simple as possible. Consider organizing your content so that URLs areconstructed logically and in a manner that is most intelligible to humans (when possible, readable words rather than long ID numbers). For example, if you're searching for information about aviation, a URL like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aviation will help you decide whether to click that link. A URL like http://www.example.com/index.php?id_sezione=360&sid=3a5ebc944f41daa6f849f730f1, is much less appealing to users.

Consider using punctuation in your URLs. The URL http://www.example.com/green-dress.html is much more useful to us than http://www.example.com/greendress.html. We recommend that you use hyphens (-) instead of underscores (_) in your URLs.

Overly complex URLs, especially those containing multiple parameters, can cause a problems for crawlers by creating unnecessarily high numbers of URLs that point to identical or similar content on your site. As a result, Googlebot may consume much more bandwidth than necessary, or may be unable to completely index all the content on your site.

Common causes of this problem

Unnecessarily high numbers of URLs can be caused by a number of issues. These include:

  • Additive filtering of a set of items Many sites provide different views of the same set of items or search results, often allowing the user to filter this set using defined criteria (for example: show me hotels on the beach). When filters can be combined in a additive manner (for example: hotels on the beach and with a fitness center), the number of URLs (views of data) in the sites explodes. Creating a large number of slightly different lists of hotels is redundant, because Googlebot needs to see only a small number of lists from which it can reach the page for each hotel. For example:
    • Hotel properties at "value rates":
      http://www.example.com/hotel-search-results.jsp?Ne=292&N=461

       

    • Hotel properties at "value rates" on the beach:
      http://www.example.com/hotel-search-results.jsp?Ne=292&N=461+4294967240

       

    • Hotel properties at "value rates" on the beach and with a fitness center:
      http://www.example.com/hotel-search-results.jsp?Ne=292&N=461+4294967240+4294967270

       

  • Dynamic generation of documents. This can result in small changes because of counters, timestamps, or advertisements.
  • Problematic parameters in the URL. Session IDs, for example, can create massive amounts of duplication and a greater number of URLs.
  • Sorting parameters. Some large shopping sites provide multiple ways to sort the same items, resulting in a much greater number of URLs. For example:
    http://www.example.com/results?search_type=search_videos&search_query=tpb&search_sort=relevance    &search_category=25
  • Irrelevant parameters in the URL, such as referral parameters. For example:
    http://www.example.com/search/noheaders?click=6EE2BF1AF6A3D705D5561B7C3564D9C2&clickPage=    OPD+Product+Page&cat=79
    http://www.example.com/discuss/showthread.php?referrerid=249406&threadid=535913
    http://www.example.com/products/products.asp?N=200063&Ne=500955&ref=foo%2Cbar&Cn=Accessories.
  • Calendar issues. A dynamically generated calendar might generate links to future and previous dates with no restrictions on start of end dates. For example:
    http://www.example.com/calendar.php?d=13&m=8&y=2011
    http://www.example.com/calendar/cgi?2008&month=jan
  • Broken relative links. Broken relative links can often cause infinite spaces. Frequently, this problem arises because of repeated path elements. For example:
    http://www.example.com/index.shtml/discuss/category/school/061121/html/interview/   category/health/070223/html/category/business/070302/html/category/community/070413/html/FAQ.htm
Steps to resolve this problem

To avoid potential problems with URL structure, we recommend the following:

  • Consider using a robots.txt file to block Googlebot's access to problematic URLs. Typically, you should consider blocking dynamic URLs, such as URLs that generate search results, or URLs that can create infinite spaces, such as calendars. Using regular expressions in your robots.txt file can allow you to easily block large numbers of URLs.
  • Wherever possible, avoid the use of session IDs in URLs. Consider using cookies instead. Check our Webmaster Guidelines for additional information.
  • Whenever possible, shorten URLs by trimming unnecessary parameters.
  • If your site has an infinite calendar, add a nofollow attribute to links to dynamically created future calendar pages.
  • Check your site for broken relative links.

SOURCE: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=76329

Eileen :D



Web Development - http://www.bekansas.com/
SEO Copywriting - http://www.buddycopywriting.com/copywritinghome/
Web Site Graphics - http://www.buddywebgraphics.com/
ABHP - JOIN this ACTIVE Ryze Network! - http://abhp-network.ryze.com/

Private Reply to Eileen Brown

Mar 03, 2009 1:04 amre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Reg Charie
An interesting article popped up today regarding rewriting URLs for security reasons.
While it looks like a great idea to stop script insertions, I wonder how the site's indexing would fare?

>> * Attacks like cross-site scripting (XSS), cross-site request forgery (XSRF), and open-redirect phishing are routinely propagated through malicious hyperlinks sent in e-mail messages. (If you’re unfamiliar with these attacks, I recommend reading about them at the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) Web.) We could mitigate much of the risk of these vulnerabilities by frequently changing our URLs — not once every 200 years but once every 10 minutes. Attackers would no longer be able to exploit application vulnerabilities by mass e-mailing poisoned hyperlinks because the links would be broken and invalid by the time the messages reached their intended victims.
http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=2728&tag=nl.e550



Reg - NEW DEMO!! Turn photos into paintings http://FantasticMachines.com
All You Need is Dotcom-Productions and a Dream. http://dotcom-productions.com
0Grief http://0grief.com/special_hosting_accounts_for_my_ryze_friends.htm
CRELoaded websites http://RegCharie.com - SBTT http://thinktank-network.ryze.com

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Mar 03, 2009 3:33 pm Dorvak says SEO URLs suck.#

Scott Wolpow
You should always mouse over the link before clicking on it, or copy and paste and go directly to the URL.

Private Reply to Scott Wolpow

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