When it comes to search engine optimization, most everything is speculation and theories, but there are a few things that we know for sure. One of the things that Matt Cutts, who works for Google’s search team, has confirmed is how to best optimize your blog’s permalink structure for Google’s search engine.
In a statement he made at WordCamp 2007, Matt made two points that apply to permalink structure:
- In URLs, no spaces are worst, underscore are better, dashes or hyphens are best.
- Do not include the post date in your URL.
As you can see, for WordPress users, your best bet is to use /%postname%/ as your custom permalink structure. This way the search engines can properly recognize your keywords and it avoids using the month/day/year or category in your post.
If you already have an established blog and permalink structure, but want to make the switch, you can make the switch then use a 301 redirect to point to your older posts to avoid broken links. For more information on how to switch your permalink structure within WordPress, you can check out my post titled How to: Update Your Post’s Permalink Structure in WordPress.