1

Out of curiosity only. If I used (see below)

https://www.example.com/index.php?blog/game/free-mmorg-review

will it affect SEO rankings? The above url clearly give a simple hierarchy of the web. So I was curious if I can use this.

I found some website using query string like (see below)

https://www.example.com/index.php?q=blog&category=game&id=free-mmorg-review

and it might generate duplicate if category and id swap the position. Just curious. I know it is pretty to use. (see below)

https://www.example.com/blog/game/free-mmorg-review

But will it be okay if I use this

https://www.example.com/index.php?blog/game/free-mmorg-review

or

https://www.example.com/?blog/game/free-mmorg-review

I found this simple server that serves php but it does not come with apache mod_rewrite so it's like running a php server directly and I can use (below) to produce somehow pretty url.

https://www.example.com/?blog/game/free-mmorg-review

Of course I will add some proper validation to make sure that /index.php?blog or /?blog will be the present.

I did some research about this but all I see is using a query string not like this. Is there a drawback using this http://www.example.com/index.php?blog/game/article_title

  • Why not just example.com/free-mmorg-review? Everything else in the URL is not needed. – Stephen Ostermiller May 7 '17 at 16:31
  • I have a web server and it does not support mod_rewrite so I was kinda curious about SEO impact if I use the index.php?blog/category/long-article-title – Edang Jeorlie May 8 '17 at 12:41
  • How about dropping the category and blog: index.php?long-article-title? Then you could move the article around in the hierarchy without breaking the URL. – Stephen Ostermiller May 8 '17 at 13:21
  • that would work but the site will be have menu for games | techs | reviews so when the visitor click the games it will be redirected to index.php?games which list articles related to games, So I need that heirarchy. :-) – Edang Jeorlie May 9 '17 at 8:29
2

Any one of your example URLs should be able to rank. However, there are some that might perform better than others.

Google's guidelines suggest keeping it as simple as possible. In particular, they note:

Overly complex URLs, especially those containing multiple parameters, can cause a problems for crawlers by creating unnecessarily high numbers of URLs that point to identical or similar content on your site.

So, what this means in practice is that the URL index.php?q=blog&category=game&id=free-mmorg-review could be duplicated as index.php?q=blog&id=free-mmorg-review&category=game (as you noted). Along with duplicate content, that could create lots of URLs for Google to crawl through. I'd skip that one unless you are prepared to combat duplicate content issues and parameter ordering issues (which lead to major headaches on the best days).

Your first example (of https://www.example.com/index.php?blog/game/free-mmorg-review) is simpler and would probably avoid some of those issues. But, the "index.php" being in the URL is somewhat unnecessary and keeps the URL from being simple. The example of http://www.example.com/?blog/game/article_title is simpler still but the question mark could still be problematic.

The reason why simplicity works, and I think the bigger issue to consider here, isn't so much about "can it rank?" but rather "would people click on it if it did rank?" Moz has a good article about URL best practices and one of the things they talk about is the readability for humans. That "index.php" in the URL or even the "?blog" makes the URL somewhat less friendly for a human searching on Google.

When URLs look different and weird that can reduce the number of people clicking through--this is especially true for less tech-savvy audiences. In tests I've done for clients, search results containing a URL with any kind of non-alpha-numeric character can get a lower click through rate than a URL that looks much friendlier like https://www.example.com/blog/game/free-mmorg-review.

There isn't a hard and fast rule here. If it were me, I'd do everything I could to get the index.php and the question mark out of my URLs to stay as simple as possible. "?blog" is simpler than "index.php/blog/etc". If that isn't possible, I'd do my best to keep an eye on click through rates from search results to see what kind of impact the URLs have. If CTRs end up lower, that could help inform a decision of moving to a server that supports mod rewrites.

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