SEO – Dynamic VS Static URLs

There has been a lot of confusion between webmasters and SEO experts about static and dynamic URLs and which is preferable for search engine optimization.  Google has made many advances in how they read URLs which is why it is imperative for any Internet marketing company or SEO company to stay current on the latest developments.

Before we get into the comparisons, let’s look at the definitions of static and dynamic URLs.  A dynamic URL is generated when a site pulls content from a database rather than having the content displayed in a static format right on the page.  In this case the site acts as a template and runs queries to pull the necessary content from the database.  Dynamic URLs may appear different each time when pulling the same content because it may include session IDs and source trackers.  A static URL never changes and corresponds with the static content on the page.  A static URL may appears:

http://www.domainname.com/more-content/even-more-content.hmt

The myths:  It used to be fairly common thought that the search engines could not read dynamic URLs and would not index those pages accurately.  SEO experts would say that for that URL and page to be indexed by the search engines the URL must be rewritten to appear static.  They might also say that only static URLs work well for a proper search engine optimization campaign.

Some pitfalls:  SEO consultants might suggest rewriting the URL to appear static.  This is not recommended because it can actually cause more confusion for the search engines and they may not analyze the URL properly.  It can also cause important information to be left out.

The truth:  Google can read both static and dynamic URLs.  While you might have a slight advantage with static URLs, a dynamic URL will not hurt you.  The best practice is always to keep the URLs short no matter how they are structured.  If you use dynamic URLs you should make sure they do not include unnecessary parers.  The new rule of thumb is to have fewer than three parers in your dynamic URLs.

What to avoid:  If you wish to rewrite your URLs to appear static you should actually create static content for those pages.  Do not simply rewrite them to appear static.  Do not include parers that are not necessary.  Have an SEO engineer review your URLs and adjust them accordingly.

Healthy SEO:  When developing a new website from scratch or planning for an SEO campaign, all the aspects of optimization should be taken into account.  This is the problem when design firms with great artistic capability create websites that have absolutely no foundation for SEO.  They may not even include proper title tags, URL structure, or internal linking.  These are SEO basics and should be part of website development from day one.  There is no point in developing a site that you never want to appear in the search engines.  Only a proper SEO foundation will ensure eventual rankings in the SERPs.

The best way to plan ahead is to hire an Internet marketing company that focuses on SEO.  There are many firms out there that specialize in one or two areas but few that a good at all aspects of Internet marketing…but they do exist.  When you are interviewing Internet marketing firms for website design, ask about their SEO knowledge.  Make sure their engineers will develop the site with a proper SEO foundation.

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