That title certainly sounds like a personal problem, doesn’t it? It makes you wonder:
- What the heck are permalinks
- Why would I care about optimizing them?
- Will I have to undergo expensive surgeries in order to optimize?
Search Engine Optimization is the science, or art (in many cases) of tweaking things in your favor with the search engines. No one can “guarantee” top rankings on search engines, because the method by which Search Engines work is not completely known and changes constantly. In fact, Google even employs real people to validate search engine results – they dig through popular search terms to make sure that people aren’t accidentally getting “bad things” to the tops of the ranks and ruin their good name.
Which brings us to the …
Two Types of SEO
Off Page SEO is when you do things to build in-bound links through any of a variety of methods. Things like link-directories, link-swapping, and article marketing are all effective ways of building inbound links, thus off-page SEO .
On-Page (or On-Site) SEO
On-page SEO is the type of optimization you can perform on your page of which you are in complete control. This type of SEO pertains to things like using good keywords in the body and title your pages, having sufficient keyword density and linking to other pages within your site using frequently sought keywords, and the like.
Google takes a look at many on-page factors when determining what makes a page relevant for a certain search term. One of those factors is the URL of the page itself. If the URL of the page contains the words that people are searching for, Google lends just a smidge (since there are so many factors) more weight to the likelihood that your page will be found as relevant for the sought keyword.
Here’s an example:
Now, when people are searching for things like “Twitter How To Retweet ” or “Using Twitter Retweet ” or similar phrases, that page will be considered more relevant for those terms because those words (and sometimes complete phrases) are matched perfectly in the URL.
Knowing what you know now… how does a URL like THIS compare?
Exactly. ICK! Which brings us to…
What’s a Permalink?
“Permalink” is an abbreviated form of the phrase “Permanent Link.” In WordPress, it’s simply the URL someone would use in order to directly link to a specific page in your site. It’s also the URL that Google will (or won’t) send people to when they search for your targeted keywords.
How do I optimize Permalinks?
WordPress is very configurable, and as such, there’s an easy way to set your URLs to be far more meaningful to the search engines.
- Open the URL “<YourBlogUrl>/wp-admin/options-permalink.php”So, for the site mentioned above, the link would be
- In the “Common Settings” section, select the radio button marked “Custom Structure”.
- In the big text box over to the right of “Custom Structure”, enter this value: “/%postname%/” (without the quotes)
- Click the “Save Changes” button at the very bottom to put those new setting in to effect.
- MOST IMPORTANT: Visit your home page and click a few URLs to make sure the new ones look like you expect. If not, repeat the steps above more closely.
PLEASE NOTE: If you’re using a crappy hosting provider (such as GoDaddy), you will have to wait about 10-15 minutes for your changes to take effect. Make sure to make these changes during slow traffic periods or after hours. Better yet, switch your hosting company to one that doesn’t suck .