Google sees the glass half empty. Dynamic URL vs. Static URL

24 ,September, 2008 From

How do you confuse the world and get people with real skills scratching their heads wondering about what Google thinks it’s doing? Simple, post a blog post on the official Google webmaster blog about why URL rewrites are bad and Dynamic URL’s are good and get everyone in the SEO world wondering what Google is thinking.

URL Rewrite – What is it?

URL Rewrite is an application that changes a dynamic URL, which can be long and full of parameters, to one that has meaning and usually shorter making it easier on the surfers and users to understand what the page is usually about or when it is from. It’s usually easier to remember and quicker to type out. In two words it’s a friendly URL. Wikipedia has some good info and links for more information.

Why utilize URL Rewrite?

Rewriting dynamic URL’s are full of marketing advantages: From having people being able to look at a link and know where they’re heading, to being able to send links via Email without breaking them apart to the SEO benefits that come with it. Rand from SEOmoz does a great job of going into the pros and cons here.

php url rewrite

URL rewrite is probably easiest to do in php. php has a built in module called mod_rewrite, an engine which enables you to set rules and rewrites dynamic URL into static url automatically. All you need to do is make a small change to your .htaccess file on the apache webserver and you’re done. You can find more information at

dot net url rewrite

URL rewrite in dot net is a bit more complex. You will need to use an isapi filter as explained by SEOconsultants or use the official Microsoft way.

So what am I getting at?!?!

Where I’m confused is why Google would outright recommend using dynamic URL’s over static URL’s just because of the people that do it wrong. Google wants to make the world a better place and to make search easier and more relevant… so why try to make it harder for people surfing the web to understand where they’re going and remember URL’s!

I think where Google got it wrong, is the method in achieving what it wanted to do. Rewrites can sometimes be problematic. Well instead of trying to educate people on why they might be wrong, try and educate them on how to do it right. It’s not a big issue; most people get it right to begin with. A short post on how to do it would have done more service to the Web.

I think Google called the glass half empty not half full on this one.

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