My question(s) is,
1/Do Permalinks matter, if I have /?page_id=489 at the end for example, is this ok?
2/If I change them, will it affect my Google ranking?
4/Do Permalinks help my Google ranking at all?
5/Are there any adverse effects from changing them?
I have got myself to Page one on Google for my required search term and I don't want to jeopardise this.
I look forward to your answers.
Michael Caputo answers:
1 - Yes, it will help with SEO
2 - If they're one way, and then they change it will effect your ranking
3 - it doesn't matter in my experience, that one is the most readable IMO
4 - Yes they do, but it's always changing
5 - Once your site is crawled to be a certain URL structure, and changed it can effect you negatively. Remember on sites that posts are entered via the date /YEAR/MONTH/DAY/ changing this can also effect your SEO.
If you are concerned about your seo and you're changing links, you could find your most important/most visited posts and create a redirect, so you could redirect site.com/popular-post/ TO site.com/popular-post-with-new-permalink/ via your htaccess file. This is obviously difficult if there are a lot of posts/pages you want to redirect though.
How do I know if they are entered via the date /year/month/day, sorry if this is a stupid question, but I really don't know.
Sean Grant answers:
#1 - Yes permalinks matter, but to whom is the question. It depends and usually the answer is yes, make your URLs friendly. User friendly, search engine friendly, etc. Who knows what url.com/?p=6628 goes to or is about, but url.com/fast-red-motorcycles is friendly.
#2 - Maybe, Maybe not. Usually changing your URLs will effect ranking. But perhaps only for a day, or none, depending on your websites ability to handle redirects and forward people to go to the new url. 301 redirects are your friend. :)
#3 - I'd say yes, but there are plenty of sites not this way and still rank well. So if your only concern is ranking... then maybe not.
#4 - Google can better get a feel for what is at a certain URL by the keyword in the URL. ie. url.com/fast-red-motorcycles will rank better than url.com/p=97866 that has all the other things the same.
#5 - see #2 - Many people have changed/updated URLs and not been effected by rankings once Google knows where those pages went. Thus a sitemap is a great idea too.
Do you end it with .http i.e- url.com/fast-red-motorcycles.http
I never used 301 re-directs, how do they work, is it as simple as a plugin?
Are post permalinks the same importance as page permalinks or should I leave these alone.
Sean Grant comments:
No there is no ending .http - in fact there never is. http is a protocol so it goes before things. but don't worry about this.
I was using url.com/keyword-blue-thing/ as an example of a URL with nice permalinks.
For uses of 301 redirects see here: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=93633
For a WP plugin that helps you manage these see here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/redirection/ or http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/simple-301-redirects/
Post and Page permalinks are both important. I believe when you change the Permalinks in WP you change it for both. And any custom post types.
You are welcome. :)
Arnav Joy answers:
Yes permalink matters and all this is related to seo ..
and if you are looking to get some seo for your site then have a look in this plugin