diberry - 4:13 pm on Oct 24, 2012 (gmt 0)
Your correct diberry, im on autopilot when I setup a WP site now, its one of the first things I do as do most I bet.
I see very few WP sites using the default permalink structure. I really believe for user experience, it's better to have words, and ideally those words should match the article title rather than being just keywords. As long as your titles aren't just your keyphrases, this shouldn't be seen as over-optimization - or at least, I wouldn't expect it to be. I yield to anyone who knows better.
Santapaws, that's just it. For example, Google says a new update is about blahblah, and most of us really don't have a clue what that means. So we start pruning our content, merging articles, getting rid of backlinks... and things get worse instead of better. I realize some people around here are able to figure out what Google wants and address it. But the rest of us? Probably better off doing nothing until we really are convinced we've figured out the problem, or found someone who can give us solid suggestions of how to address it.
One thing that most of us CAN do, whether or not we'll ever understand anything Google's updates are about, is concentrate on best practices and user metrics. No, doing these things does not mean you'll stay in Google's good graces. But if you're in this game for the long haul, it might be the better option in the end. After all, what Google advises you to do one year might be considered spamming a few years later. Maybe Google prefers sites that ignore them and just do their own thing consistently, and do it well.