Thursday, June 05, 2008

Permalink SEO Individual Post URL Search Engine Optimization

Cardinal rule of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

The first cardinal rule of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is, put key words into:

  1. blog or website URL

  2. blog title

  3. individual post URL (permalink)

  4. individual post title

Now one you have created your website or blog, its URL is pretty much fixed. I would be very reluctant to change the URL of a blog as that would mean dead links plus you would be starting from scratch as far as search engines are concern. That leaves the individual post URL or permalink plus the post title.

Previously, with the old classic Blogger, if after publishing a post you change the post title or date, the post URL would also change. That was why I was very very reluctant to change the post URL once it is published. Those bad old days are over. Now with the new improved Blogger, after publishing a post, changing either the post title or the date or both will not change the post URL.

You can make use of this fact to do some SEO using the title. Remember it is good to get keywords into both the post title and post URL remembering that once published, a post URL is fixed, constant. I make use of this by publishing a post twice, once with whatever key words I want in the post title without any words ignored by search engines and without worrying too much about whether it is understandable or not. (words ignored by search engines are words like a, of, the, etc.) After publishing and getting these key words into the post URL (permalink), I can then edit the post title to whatever I want without worrying that the post URL will change.

Take this example - Types of blogs: business blog to promote online merchant. Its original post title was "Types blogs business promote online merchant", not a perfect post title but without words like of, to, etc., all of which would be ignored by search engines. Below is a screen shot of the post as it was originally published:

Post on business blogs with original title

The last part of the post URL contains the words


After publishing and getting the post URL established, I can now change the post URL to whatever I want and the above URL will not change. In fact, I changed the post title to "Types of blogs: business blog to promote online merchant", with superfluous (to search engines) of, to, in the post title to make it more readable than the original. Below is a screen shot of the post with the URL unchanged but with a new, readable post title:

post on business blog with new post title

Note that the post URL remains the same:

Peter Chen's nice graphic signature

Related posts: Search engine friendly permalink (individual post URL)


  1. Peter,
    Not on this subject but I can't remember if I left a message, or where I left it or on what post about the categories list in the sidebar. I wanted to know if you have posted already on ow to remove the number in parenthesis after each category(topic) when you use this feature in your sidebar. Is there any easy way of deleting it or can you point me to where I might already find this post in your archives. Thanks much. I know you are busy and I so appreciate your response. I will check back here in the comments forum. This tme I won't forget where I left the message.

  2. WOW that is a great tip!

    I would assume most people look at the title of your article, and NOT your url address. You get the use of using your keywords, and lol and have your title more 'people' friendly at the same time by using words Google will ignore.

  3. Just came across your tips from a search! That tells me your tips work lol! I understand the concept of search engine ignoring certain words (like the, for). Is there a way I can find what words that search engines ignore?
    Thanks for the great and informative posting!

  4. I use Chinese in one of my blog, blogger just use numbers as blog post url. How about other languages, such as French or Hindu?

  5. I do not know for sure but I suspect Chinese characters etc. are converted to Unicode numerical character references (NCRs)

  6. No one so far told so many things in such simple way. You are helluva pensioner. I will continue to read your posts as I saved you a a 'favourite.' Cheers

  7. Hi Peter,

    I actually happen to like the old system, when permalinks for individual posts were changed if the title was changed.

    What if I made a mistake with the title and want to change it? It is annoying to see the old link that does not match the new title.

    I am coming to Blogger from Livejournal and there I would always get the URL title changed after i edited the title.

    Could you help? do you know which code i need to change to get this "old" feature back? Thanks so much. You have an awesome blog.

    Previously, with the old classic Blogger, if after publishing a post you change the post title or date, the post URL would also change.

  8. If you want to change the URL of the post, I would suggest you start a new post, copy-paste from the old post into new post and either delete the old post or preferably delete the content of the old post and leave an active clickable link to the new post.

  9. I was thinking the same thing - that I should just repost the entry. However, i see it may be a hassle going forward. I just have to train myself to get the title right the first time. :)
    Thanks again for sharing your expertise with a novice.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Hi Peter,

    I'm having a unique problem with my permalink to individual post url.

    For some posts this is the format: (which is what I want)


    and for some others it is in this format: (which I do not want)


    I want them all in the first format without the DATE appended at the end. How do i fix this problem. Please help. This problem is causing my old links to break. I do not know what is causing the date to be appended at the end for some posts.

    I'm a novice when it comes to html coding. Your help is much appreciated. Thanks!

    my blog:

  12. This is what I found out. A couple of weeks ago I exported my blog. Made several edits using a text editor. Next I imported the edited blog. But just before impoting I deleted all my posts, thinking there will be duplicate copies of the same posts. So when I impoted the blog, I ended up with these news permalinks to my old posts.

    Here's an example:

    old version was:

    current version of the same post:

    My archives are still referring to the old version and my search engines results are all broken. So how do I go about fixing this problem? Is there a way to update the archives with the new permalink? Or is there a way to edit the permalink in anyway?

    Thanks a lot for all your time and patience. Really appreciate it.

  13. "But just before impoting I deleted all my posts,,,?

    Ah sounds like trouble. I have "almost" never deleted a post/blog. I will need to do some experimenting.

  14. Why don't you try this. Create a test blog perhaps using content from Article Alley for the posts. Save all the permalinks somewhere. Export the blog. Then DELETE THE BLOG. After deleting the test blog, reregister again using the same URL and then import what you had previously exported and compare the new permalinks with the old permalinks.

    If they are the same, and since you are already in trouble, perhaps you can try to recreate your problem blog using the above method. If you want to try, remember, it is at your own risk. And do remember to come back and tell me of your success or....

  15. Hi Peter,

    I followed your suggestion and it was a total "Success!!!"

    Thanks for all your help. It will be helpful to write a post on this fix. I'm sure someone will benefit in the future.

    You are a God in blogger world.

  16. I find it ridiculous that after being bought by Google blogger/blogspot is still this bad at dealing with permalinks. I recommend that anyone who uses these platforms migrate over to WordPress. Wordpress lets you customize the URL structures in any format you want such as "/category/postname/" or /postname/" instead of this "/year/month/postname/" format that this platform uses. This just seems like too much work for such a simple request.

  17. Speaking from SEO angle, the year and month seemed unnecessary but a blog is a journal which means date and time. However, I agree with you that it will be good if Blogger gives us that choice. Only thing is, wonder how Wordpress ensure all permalink are unique.

  18. i have a question Peter...

    All of my blog posts are indexed by Google and are ranked as well. So if i change the post title, then the visitors will end up arriving at dead links via Google search.
    And the only solution that i feels is to delete the whole post and publish it again with a new title.
    What are your suggestions Peter ?

  19. As a Search Engine Marketing Company India / UK / USA, TrafficCharger is one of the fastest growing online internet marketing company in the field of Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization.

  20. Hi Peter,

    I changed my post title, but the link is the previous one. How can I change the link of that post in accordance with the post title so that SEO works better.

    Thanks in advance,

  21. Many years back when you change the post title of a published post, the URL changed. To me that is no good especially for a post which already have backlinks because those backlinks become broken links leading to "Page not found". I believe that is why Blogger changed it so that published post will always have the same URL. If I were in your position, what I would do is to publish a new post with the title you want then edit the old post to link to the new post.

  22. hi peter. doesn't publishing the same post more than once affect its seo?

  23. One will end up in the supplementary

  24. Hi Peter I have a question, I'm newbie but I wonder what advantage in omiting words sach as: "to" "the" etc. Right, that words are ignored by search engines but not for this search engines doesn't read the important ones (I'm only supposing)

    What do you think?

  25. While search engines do change frequently, I believe that leaving out words like to, the, etc in the URL is a good practice.

  26. Except when you want to match an exact match search which is not often

  27. Thanks Peter!

    Now I have another question...

    Do you add particular description to each of your posts?

  28. I know of no way to add meta tags to individual posts.

  29. Peter, On the site you mentioned "bloggerplugings" I was readings about that, they said to add in heather section but what part of heather? I asked them but no answer yet, Is the same any part?

    And I was reading another interesting site about this, if you want I give you the url so you check

  30. yes, i found useful info.

    my web @


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