URL rewriting - benefits and implications

It may benefit new sites

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If a client is using static urls or dynamic urls they may be interested in URL rewriting, which, for search engine optimisation purposes is usually beneficial. URL rewriting is a good idea for websites that are fairly new and have not established themselves within natural search results, this is because URL rewriting, although beneficial in the long run, can upset current rankings in the search engines.

If a website is performing well in the search engines for various keywords in natural search, then URL rewriting is not advisable as it will disturb the websites rankings in search engines. This is because a well performing website will have been fully evaluated by search engines including the link urls and page addresses; URL rewriting will change all of these meaning that the search engine will have to update its entire index of your site to be aware of the new page locations. Once that happens, your website is very likely to drop in rankings.

This is because back-links that point to a URL will no longer be valid as the URL would have changed, therefore the page rank for the website could drop significantly causing even further impact on the websites performance. Some websites can take months to recover often losing more than what they could potentially have gained.

It is advisable to consider the implications of URL rewriting as it will have a negative effect for websites already well established in Google, Yahoo, Microsoft Live Search, Altavista, ASK etc. URL re-writing should only be used on new sites, or websites less than a year old that have little or no establishment in the search engines.

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