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URL Structure In SEO – Static Vs Dynamic

Search Engine Optimization September 5th, 2013

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Static Vs Dynamic

URL means Uniform Resource Locator which refers to the web address that we enter into a browser to access any web page. Just like we have a particular residential address, similarly every website has a web address for its access.

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URLs are classified into two types: static and dynamic. A static URL is one in which the content of the web page remains the same as long as the changes are not hard coded within the HTML. On the other hand, a dynamic URL is one which is a result of a search within a website driven by a database running on some script.  When a site’s database is queried, it results in generation of a dynamic URL. Dynamic page can also be understood as a template in which results of a database query are displayed. Only the data is changed while keeping the HTML codes same.

Static vs. Dynamic: Which is better?

There can be a possible pondering over the choice of having a dynamic or a static website. There are a few points which can help us understand which URL type is better. These points are on the URL structure as well as the implications of such URL structures on site performance.

  • Dynamic URLs are less friendly to search engines – It is fact that search engines do not like dynamic URLs. If we try to understand the URL structure of dynamic and static URLs, then we may have a clarity on the reasons thereof: let us take an example of a dynamic website, which may look something like this:

http://www.exampledynamicsite.com/forums/thread.php?threadid=12345&sort=date

On the other hand, a static site, having a URL that does not change, may look something like this:

http://www.examplestaticsite.com/forums/the-challenges-of-dynamic-urls.html

If at all dynamic URLs like above get indexed, they do not get indexed as quickly as their static counterpart.  The search engine prefers to index pages which are unique. Search engines handle such URL issues by truncating after a specified number of variables [for example a question mark (?) or and (&)]. The phenomenon can be understood with the below example:

http://www.exampledynamicsite.com /forums/thread.php?threadid=12345&sort=date
http://www.exampledynamicsite.com /forums/thread.php?threadid=67890&sort=date
http://www.exampledynamicsite.com /forums/thread.php?threadid=13579&sort=date

All the URLs point towards three different pages. What the search engine does is that it purges the URL the moment it encounters the first offending character; in our case the question mark (?). The resultant is as under:

http://www.exampledynamicsite.com /forums/thread.php
http://www.exampledynamicsite.com /forums/thread.php
http://www.exampledynamicsite.com /forums/thread.php

All the different pages are truncated to the same URL. This now cannot be indexed.

There are well known example of dynamic URLs which are at risk of losing search engine positions due to their dynamic types. For example, websites for e-commerce stores, forums, content management, blogs etc.

  • Static URLs generally ranked fairer in search engine results, primarily because they are indexed faster than dynamic URLs.
  • Dynamic pages generally do not have keywords embedded in the URLs, while it is strongly recommended to have URLs which are rich in keywords. This fact is now established after the recent studies on ranking methods of Google, Bing and Yahoo

Conclusively, we can state that static URLs are more SEO friendly than dynamic URLs.

Post By Matthew Anton (1 Posts)

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Matthew Anton is an experienced SEO analyst and prolific writer. He is domain specialist having authored a lot of reviews, articles and publications.

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URL Structure In SEO – Static Vs Dynamic

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