macavity - 2:46 pm on Dec 4, 2011 (gmt 0)
Hi again everyone,
I've got a follow up question to the above and would really appreciate some expert input just before going live with our new system.
Having taken the advice to go for brevity by keeping the name of our content module's directory as short as possible I now need to make a choice related to the latter portion of the URL where keywords from the article's section name, category name and article title itself are included. At first sight the choice seems obvious but because of the way our CMS works, I'm not sure it is.
It's probably easiest if I give an example. If we imagine an article titled "Benefits of blue widgets" located within the articles category of our products section we have a choice of using one of the following URL structures:
Now, most people - including myself - would automatically assume that the first option is the one to choose. It uses a directory naming convention which clearly shows the section and category structure of the site.
In reality, everything after
in the above URLs is purely cosmetic. The "a=21" identifies the article uniquely to the CMS and nothing after that is processed when the page is requested. That means that although
at first glance looks like a genuine directory structure, it is only so to the human eye, not the CMS. To be clear, were you to try to access
you would still be taken to the page for article 21, not to an index for all articles or products as you might expect.
There are good reasons for including the section and category names in the URL so I do want to stick with one of the options, i.e. using the directory structure with slashes as delimiters, or just bundling everything into a hyphen deliminated structure (e.g. www.widgetworld.com/c/a=21/products-articles-benefits-of-blue-widgets)
My concerns are that although the directory option looks good initially it might confuse people who try to edit the URL looking for a section/category index, but also more importantly it might be red flagged by Google somehow if googlebot picks up on the fact that these are pseudo directory structures.
What would you do in this case?
Many thanks in advance for any comments, they're much appreciated.