[wp-hackers] Permalink Structure - Performance vs. SEO

Lynne Pope lynne.pope at gmail.com
Wed Jun 15 04:27:50 UTC 2011

On Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 3:47 PM, Mike Schinkel
<mikeschinkel at newclarity.net>wrote:

> On Jun 14, 2011, at 9:47 PM, Lynne Pope wrote:
> > If I see an URL like
> http://example.com/2006/11/06/great-wordpress-tricks/
> > I wouldn't bother going to that link. I would assume the article was
> written
> > on 06/11/2006 and that it is no longer relevant.
> I agree, I wouldn't either. And there is a pretty good chance that is no
> longer relevant.
> > The problem with this is that some sites will post a series of posts with
> updated
> > information. So, there might be
> > http://example.com/2007/11/06/more-great-wordpress-tricks/ and
> > http://example.com/2011/11/06/even-more-great-wordpress-tricks/.
> Although there are certainly special cases where this is not appropriate in
> general those URLs are pretty much the correct way to do it from a content
> strategy, site architecture and user trust basis.  That structure groups
> posts by year, month and day. It gives the date to indicate to the reader
> when it was published and the likelihood that it is still relevant (or not.)
> And doing this engenders trust from the reader towards the site, especially
> if the site has lots of content that the reader finds frequently via search
> engines.

> BUT, on other sites, the 2006 post may be getting continually updated,
> keeping the content fresh and relevant. So,
> http://example.com/2006/11/06/great-wordpress-tricks might have been
> yesterday but the URL makes me think its  nearly five years old.

And if the authors at a site do that they are, simply put making content
> strategy, site architecture and user trust basis errors.  We shouldn't
> justify a URL structure to bandaid a poor content strategy and lack of
> attention to site architecture.
> What would be much better would be to create an "evergreen" page with a URL
> like the following and then continually update it instead

I'd agree *IF* the site is a date-based blog. If, however, it is using
WordPress as a content management system then there is nothing wrong with
the content strategy. Consider a book published in 2005. The author could
keep adding addendums and errata to keep the material updated but sooner or
later that author will release a new book. The same is true on sites that
provide technical or legal information. Small changes occur regularly. The
site owner can choose to write a new post, copying the majority of the
earlier advice and including the change. Or they could update the original
post to show deletions of outdated information and insertions of new. The
post may be 5 years old and completely up-to-date with latest developments.

All of this depends on how people are using WordPress. The assumption that
people only blog is fragile. Dates are relevant to blogs. Publication dates
AND last-modified dates are important to all other publications but not
necessarily wise to have in the URL.

Anyway, I've said my bit. I'll be quiet now and wait till the core can
handle %postname% without impacting performance as it does now ;)


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