Permalinks are a feature of most blogging applications – they are are the permanent URLs to your individual weblog posts, categories and other lists of weblog postings. For instance, the Permalink for the listing of all the posts I have written in the Search Engine Optimisation category is:
In WordPress, you can control how your Permalinks look and this can have a significant effect on your site’s search engine optimisation. For example, if you don’t change the default Permalink setup on your WordPress blog, the link to your posts will look something like:
where 49 is the post number.
However, if you go to Options -> Permalinks in WordPress and change your Permalink structure to something like /%year%/%postname%/ or even just /%postname%/ the title of your post will become part of the url for your post. If you use keywords and keyphrases which you want your site to be found by in the post title, then you will increase your chances of being found by people who search for that keyphrase. For example the url this post is:
Of course, if you combine that with the advice on category name selection I mentioned yesterday, you get a double whammy!
One word of caution – if you just use /%postname%/ as your Permalink structure, this may cause you problems – according to the Codex page on Permalinks:
the rewrite rules may make it impossible to access pages such as your stylesheet (which has a similar format) or the wp-admin folder
In my own case, my Permalinks are set to /%postname%/ and consequently I can’t access my Awstats folder. I have set my Permalinks to /%postname%/ because that structure gives the maximum SEO benefit – the further down the URL your keyphrases are, the lower they will appear in Search Engine results.
The way around the Awstats issue for me is to change the Permalink structure to /%year%/%postname%/ briefly, access the Awstats folder and change the Permalink structure back. This method is unsatisfactory because anyone following a link to a Permalinked article on the site will get a 404 while the structure is altered, but it is the best I have come up with so far.