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How should I form urls dynamic vs. static?
static vs. dynamic urls which is better

 6:02 pm on Sep 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am currently at a crossroads on how i should design our site, i can either create static urls like:
or i can form the same url dynamically by doing

the advantage of the 1st one is the keywords in the urls, and a natural directory structure, also somewhat the speed of the pages because they are already in html they don't have to be made by the script dynamically.

the advantage of number 2 would be page rank, since domainname already has a page rank of 5 then domainname?id=somekindind has that same page rank thus it may result in higher ranking in the SERPs, not sure though and basically that is my question. Which one is better to go with option 1 (static) or option 2 (dynamic)

thanks, Tom



 7:41 pm on Sep 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Tom, it works a little differently.

> domainname/directory/url.html

Yes, this does get the words in the URL, but that is a very tiny part of Google's ranking and personally I wouldn't worry about it. You can produce these types of URLs from a CGI script, either by changing the script (using something like a 'PATH_INFO' environment variable) or by using internal URL rewriting (eg. using Apache's mod_rewrite).

> domainname/?id=somekindofid.

Assuming both URLs are crawled and indexed, there's no affect on PageRank. The Toolbar doesn't show PR for URLs with a '?' in; the real PR comes only from the links.

One last thing. Historically, Google has been more willing to crawl 'static' looking URLs, but if you have plenty of PageRank and you just have one '?' with no '&' characters this is unlikely to be problem nowadays.


 7:45 pm on Sep 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't believe Google likes URL's with ID's in them.

Also, yes Google has gotten pretty decent at following dynamic links but why would you want to chance it when you have the ability to make them static? And don't forget, there are other SE's out there besides Google who aren't as adept yet.


 8:02 pm on Sep 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

I usually encode everything in the url, so it looks like a static page. It is quite easy to parse it from there, and it works great. The site looks like it is made of static files.



 8:29 pm on Sep 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

I had a question:

I have a PR 5 site with a number of articles. The articles are formed in this fashion:


Now, the toolbar doesn't show a PR, it says PR 0. Is Toolbar just not showing page rank for dynamic URL's, or is this something I should be concerned with? My articles rank fairly high, so I don't think I am being penalized, but I'm just checking to be 100% sure.



 8:33 pm on Sep 2, 2003 (gmt 0)


Sorry, but i don't understand why people are still using "?" and don't rewrite their urls if they're important to se's!? Don't you have access to htaccess?


 8:38 pm on Sep 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

seindal ... can you please give me a pointer on how to do that encoded url trick? Do you use .htaccess to rewrite?

I just switched to dynamic for maintainability, but Google has ignored the dynamic pages so far and the urls aren't very good for sending to people.

eg "check out this product: www.mysite.com/pxprod.pl?prod_id=736376"



 10:44 pm on Sep 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

thanks seems like the overwhelming response is to keep them static, the whole point or advantage of using?e=blah is so that you can keep everything on one page that has a high pr. i.e. domain.com has the same pr as domain.com/?e=blah, whereas, separate url's don't inherit the pr. Besides that it seems like static urls or pages that seem static seem better....


 1:07 am on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

On some of my sites I had file.cgi?blah=something&blah=something

They hardly got crawled at all. As soon as I turned them in to

file-blah-something-blah-something.html , I started geting Googlebombed.

On another site I had the same thing, but php, and Google had no trouble with that. So the Googlebot hates .cgi files but doesn't have trouble with .php, unless it has or looks like it has a session ID in it.


 7:34 am on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

seindal ... can you please give me a pointer on how to do that encoded url trick? Do you use .htaccess to rewrite?

I don't rewrite. My pages are dymanic, so my program just looks at the requested url and works from there. I use perl/mod_perl and an application framework called HTML::Mason, so I find the url in $r->uri, but with other systems you find that information in some other way.



 7:48 am on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

I used to stay with static but that was 8 to 10 months ago now I am moving to dynamic, because

1. I can easily target audiences better.
2. keep my site as fresh as often with ease, (Google like freshness)
3. Google and other search engines are now reading dynamic urls see below of some of the top examples:

www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/ -/1568553390?vi=related-articles

ranking 3 for top keywords!

I still say 80% of my pages now end with just php and no? but for actual product details I have?product=6574 each product is listed and can be accesses by a normal <a href> link.

I believe its googles and others priority to start crawling more dynamic sites, due to the quality of these sites, and how fresh these site are.

As google moves so do we, I once was 100% static and didn't believe in dynamic however in the last few months my opinion has changed since more and more dynamic urls have been crawled and ranking well.

One thing for sure is keep the content high!


 8:48 am on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

There is a difference between dynamic/static sites, and the form of the url. A site is not static because it looks like it. My sites are often dynamic, but you wouldn't notice, and neither does googlebot. A site is usually dynamic if it has a query string attached, but the opposite is the necessarily the case.



 9:13 am on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

I would strongly be in favour of fully static URLs. They are publicisable for a start and more user-friendly. Make sure you make them choppable as well, though!

As other posters have said you can still make dynamic sites using 'static' URLs - you're just hiding your technology better, which I would regard as a small increase in security, as well as making things easier when you want to change from e.g. JSP to PHP or whatever.


 9:21 am on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

"I used to stay with static but that was 8 to 10 months ago now I am moving to dynamic, because

1. I can easily target audiences better.
2. keep my site as fresh as often with ease, (Google like freshness)"

Neither of these reasons have got anything remotely to do with whether your URL contains a ? in it.

I hope in changing your structure you're going to redirect the old addresses to the new - otherwise you've broken everyone's links and you'll probably lose your google ranking for a short while. URLs live forever:


On one of my sites, I'm still getting hits to old URLs which were in use only before 1997, presumably from people having bookmarked the address. These old addresses redirect to the equivalent new addresses to avoid wrecking user experience.


 9:35 am on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)


>>Don't you have access to htaccess?

In some cases yes, in others no. Some are on MS so no module installed to do the rewrite (I know some exist). Lots of people dont have that facility for various reasons. It is not always safe to assume that you will have that ability. That said I have dynamic stuff with 1 "?" that do quite well.



 1:20 am on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

ID numbers are ok in the URL to a point.

I have PR 0 on my dynamic sites. It was discussed in this forum:

I have found Google has trouble at the ampersand. Query strings are fine up to
but if you go as far as
it doesn't show up

UNLESS you submit that URL directly to Google. The content of the page will get indexed, but not spidered if the links on the page are also dynamic with ampersands.


 1:41 am on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

If you are going to rewrite your URIs, get rid of all the parameters! There is no need for them to be there and they are not friendly for users or spiders alike. Don't chance it, provide a nice clean URI for your visitors to bookmark and the spiders to index.

Recent project...

Site online for a few years. At the beginning of my consulting with the client, there were approximately 7,000 pages in Google's index and they just could not get Google to crawl deeper into the dynamic data due to the URI structure. Yes, the site had PR7/6 so there should have been no problem with getting those URIs crawled. Problem was, the variables. Once they were removed using ISAPI_Rewrite, Googlebot had an absolute feast.

The rewrite went into place about 60 days ago. Google now has 57,800 pages in its index (up from 7,000). Does rewriting URIs to be user friendly and search engine friendly work? It sure does. If you are going to do it, do it right the first time so you'll never have to worry about it again. Its one of those things where you configure it once and leave it alone.

P.S. As mentioned above, id=000 is a problem with Google. I believe that once Googlebot hits an id=, that is as far as it is going because it could end up in an endless loop of dynamic content. I think ids are more of a roadblock than ampersands. I've seen Googlebot grab URIs with two ampersands in them with no problem. As soon as an id was introduced, it went no further than the content up to the id in the URI string. It wouldn't touch anything after the id.


 5:54 am on Sep 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

pageoneresults & others

of the possibilities:

1: /p1-p2-p3.html

2: /p1/p2/p3/

has anyone had difficulties with #2?

#2 causes browsers no difficulty,
but results with G are up in the air right now.

note that in #2 all the headers check out,
and a request to /p1/p2/p3 gets a 302 to


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