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In the world of SEO, there are parts of this whole deal that’s comparable to the characters in the bible. And today we’ll be talking about one of SEO’s demons.
Dynamic URLs …go by many names. Literally. It’s got at least 10 known nicknames. But what are they? and why are they bad?
Unlike Static URLs which are made out of words you can read and remember, Dynamic URLs are those kinds of URL lines that you just will never ever get to read straight. Here are some examples:
Looks like something that went through a meat grinder machine right? Well it gets worse. There can be longer versions of this like:
I can give you another example for a longer Dynamic URL but I won’t be doing that just to get to a certain word count. Let’s get straight to the point.
Sometimes the contents of a website is stored in a database and when these are searched for, these contents are then pulled out from it. And this is the part where Dynamic URLs are used. Basically, the website becomes just a template for the content.
These types of URLs are easily seen. First of all if you see a series of jumbled up techy R2-D2 text on a URL and its signature characters:
?, &, %, +, =, $, cgi-bin, .cgi.
If let’s say for example that a site has mostly these types of URLs. It is fairly safe to assume that that site will have a hard time existing in life. Why? First of all, the click through rate of pages or links that look like a robot’s poem is horrendously low. Where ever these types of links go, blogs, emails, people will automatically think that this is just a bad virus prank and leave it be.
These kinds of URLs have low keyword relevance, because, let’s face it, they don’t use any.
They are really hard to write down or re-type mostly because nobody will ever really remember those kinds of URLs. Unless of course you’re for some reason super smart like Sherlock Holmes or something. People remember things more if a URL is Static. Meaning it doesn’t change or is not made out of robotic giberish.
If a website is made out of only these messy or Dynamic URLs, it can still indeed perform normally. There’s no penalty for websites that’s got robot-tongue for URLs. But then again, these won’t be human friendly. Like what was previously mentioned, these URLs are virtually impossible to remember, they look like spam, they don’t carry keywords and they’re basically too rigid for humans.
And Google is all about the human response, remember?
If people don’t like you or just scroll over your page on SERPS, Google will notice this and push you down the abyss of Page 5 or 9.
That said if you own a website made out of these types of URLs you are absolutely doomed.
If you’re still stubborn about it then you’ll still be doomed. Doomed to dwell down the depths of the third page and below. But if you’re willing to take the leap of faith, here’s what you got to do.
If your CMS has the ability to edit the URLs, go ahead and do so. Ideally, you really have to do every page. You can probably leave out some product pages or some Images and their URLs, but man that move is just so cheap.
Next choice for you is to 301 redirect a Dynamic URL to a static one. Pretty straight forward, but still a lot of work. That’s why you need a team for that. Because you need to keep in mind that redirection works differently on different platforms. Once all your redirects are done, remember to have those older Dynamic URLs noindex’d. This way, these old undesirable evil URLs will never be indexed ever again. The ones that will be the focus are the pages with Static URL.
Changes in any sort of way will definitely have consequences. But in this case you should just be mopping the floor of Google’s SERPS because of having bad URL structure. But if you did your best to make these URLs spelled out straight and true, expect to be elevated slowly up into the light of the top pages of Google.