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What are the URL "best practices" these days?

Starting fresh

6:27 pm on Feb 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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joined:July 18, 2005
posts: 82
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I'm starting another web site, and thinking about how the URL structure should be.

The last time I did this, it was de rigeur to convert this:
into this:

These days I see lots more variations on the theme. Things like








One thing I've noticed is that the .php|.asp|.etc extensions on the web's largest sites are all gone, absorbed into the rewrite or script.

I know having all that text in the URL is supposed to help search engines, but wasn't that only true back when Google choked on parameters? Do search engines even eat URL chow anymore, or is that an outdated concept? It certainly doesn't help the users, or there wouldn't be a million URL shortening services out there.

All of the above examples are from the 10 largest web sites on the internet, so both the lots of text and the no-text options are doing well for those sites.

My preference is to do something like
but then what do I do in the case I have to pass two parameters? www.example.com/article/8838/argument
seems needlessly complicated.

If you could do your web site(s) over from scratch, how would you format your URLs?
7:09 pm on Feb 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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joined:July 18, 2005
votes: 0

Another point to note is that the titles of these articles sometimes change. Not often. Of the 10,000 or so planned articles, maybe five or six will change names in any given year. But that could affect the URL if I choose to put the title of the article into it.