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Setting Up Wordpress Permalinks to Maximize Search Engine Rankings

Jul 23, 2008
Wordpress has become one of the most popular content management systems and blogging platforms for many people in today's connected world, rivaled only by Typepad (another content management system) because of Typepad's mobile blogging capabilities.

Among the features that make Wordpress so popular are the simple interface and secure environment, but when it comes to making money with your Wordpress blog you are going to want to rely on plugins and additions in order to maximize traffic, search engine rankings and revenue potential.

What you are going to learn in this article is the concept of a permalink as it relates to your Wordpress blog, as well as how you can tweak this feature in order to gain more control over the way your page address is displayed, the way that a search engine spider will rank each individual page, and even how you can use keywords properly in order to serve the highest paying contextual ads (using Google's Adsense program for example).

First, what is a permalink? Well it is just like it sounds, it is a permanent link to a post on your blog. In order to understand the concept behind permalinks it is important to understand exactly what a CMS does and why this can be so much easier than running a traditional HTML website.

In a nutshell, the purpose behind a content management system (CMS) is to completely separate the content from the page layout, as well as to provide a simple interface where it is easy to add new content. It is also important to note that the structure of a blog is different than a traditional HTML site; whereas in traditional sites new content will be added via 'deep linking,' new content on a blog shows up directly on the front page. This is why permalinks are important, because your post will show up on the front page of your blog only temporarily and it needs to have a permanent link as well.

There are many different criteria that you can use when setting up your permalink structure, and this is where search engine optimization and relevant high-paying Adsense ads come in to the picture. One of the biggest factors in search engine algorithms and contextual ad serving technology is filenames, and so it is important to create a permalink structure for your Wordpress blog that will include relevant keywords that are prechosen for your title.

The default permalink structure (depending on your version of Wordpress) will either be simply numbering each post sequentially or it will be the date of the post. This does not tell a search engine spider any relevant information about your post, and as such your pages will usually rank lower in any type of hypertext-based search engine.

What you need to do to make your Wordpress posts search engine friendly is to make your permalinks display the post title and possibly category title, and then choose post and category titles that include keywords relevant to your topic. You can optimize your pages for higher paying Adsense ads by determining which keywords pay out the most per click and then using those keywords in your post and category titles.
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