My website has an atypical structure and I'm not sure if this could create problems in the long run, specially for SEO positioning purposes.

I have a unique, large PHP script, and I use the Apache module mod_rewrite in the .htaccess file to create friendly URLs, for example:

RewriteRule ^$ /index.php?section=Main
RewriteRule ^createArticle$ /index.php?section=Main&view=CreateArticle
RewriteRule ^configuration$ /index.php?section=Configuration
RewriteRule ^article/([0-9]{1,10})$ /index.php?section=Article&view=Default&id=$1
RewriteRule ^deleteArticle/([0-9]{1,10})$ /index.php?section=Article&view=Delete&id=$1
RewriteRule ^reportArticle/([0-9]{1,10})$ /index.php?section=Article&view=Report&id=$1
RewriteRule ^logIn$ /index.php?section=Authentication

So, www.example.com/index.php?section=Article&view=Default&id=105 would become www.example.com/article/105.

The only real physical file is index.php, in which the parameters of the URL queried is processed and the corresponding result is outputted.

My question is, do the crawling robots (e.g. Googlebot) recognize these links? Do they index the resulting HTML outputted by index.php with the specified parameters as if it was a actual HTML file?

Also, would this become a problem when creating a Sitemap?

1 Answer 1


Yes, crawlers will recognise, crawl and index your rewritten links as long as they are included throughout your site. You should ensure that only the re-written links are included in the source and not the non-rewritten links.

You could improve the optimisation of these links further by including the article title as part of the URL.

No problem with sitemap as long as you use the re-written URL's

  • Great.. And thanks for the tip of including the article title as part of the URL! I hadn't thought of that and even StackExchange does it for the questions (e.g. http://webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/35736/ mod-rewrite-and-seo-friendliness )
    – federico-t
    Oct 16, 2012 at 23:35

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