Friendly URLs can be more important than you might think, many users do type in URLs manually – and even those who do not, may still benefit from them indirectly. Friendly URLs are easier to index for search engines, but this is primarily because they tend to put a lot of weight on the keywords or keyphrases in the URL.
Back when Brugbart first launched, we used a completely different URL system, I.e. brugbart.com/?AID=IDNUMBER – this was later changed to a more readable URL, I.e. brugbart.com/Articles/name-of-the-article_IDNUMBER.html – both where not very friendly, so it was changed a third time to become even more friendly, and not include ID numbers that people rarely remember.
The update made it easy for users to remember URLs, mostly anyway – But it also had the added benefit, that Brugbart increased its positions in the search engines for many of its pages.
Important to Redirect old URLs to new Friendly URLs
If you do not redirect your old pages, to the new friendly url scheme, you could potentially both lose referrer, and search engine traffic. Search engines use the incoming links for your pages as one of its ranking factors, if suddenly you remove the pages that people link to, you will simply lose the incoming link value.
To properly redirect your pages, you may find these pages relevant:
- Redirecting pages with .htaccess – learn how to perform redirects with htaccess
- Redirecting pages with PHP – how to handle redirects from PHP
- Redirect from MySQL with PHP – again, only with MySQL as example.
Brugbart might also provide a tool that you can use before you change your URL scheme, this will let you generate htaccess or PHP code, which will redirect to your new search engine friendly URL scheme. Return to this Article later for more information.