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The Case For Cleaning Up Your URLs

Google recently posted an article urging Webmasters to not screw with (or screw up) their dynamic URLs, and while Dave McAnally says that some of the giant's reasoning makes sense, sometimes URLs just need to be retooled to reap the ultimate SEO rewards.

The article said that Webmasters shouldn't attempt to make dynamic URLs look static for three reasons: the giant can effectively crawl dynamic URLs, some of the info in the original URL can help the engine's crawlers better understand (and index) the content, and most importantly, that site owners make mistakes when rewriting URLs and risk having the page not crawled at all.

"I can see why a company like Google would take issue with webmasters rewriting URLs to appear static on the premise that it will help manipulate rankings," McAnally says. He also understands that the giant doesn't want inexperienced Webmasters to risk having their pages not indexed at all. "However, there's a big picture to URL rewriting, and for a holistic SEO approach, clean and concise URLs are always preferred. As of right now, my opinion on URLs is that a clean URL is advantageous to the user, and thus, advantageous to the marketer."

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