The Importance of URLs

One of the first things you should know about optimizing your site is the importance of having clean, self-describing URLs. For example, if you include an article on your site called "Green Tea in Japanese Culture," Drupal automatically gives it a name like this:

http://localhost/index.php?q=node/87.

With clean URLS enabled (Configuration C> Clean URLs), it becomes this: http://localhost/node/87

With the Path core module enabled, you could manually alias the URL to be this:

http://localhost/green-tea-japanese-culture

The last URL is self-describing, making it easier for your site visitors and, more importantly, for search engines to understand what the content of the page will contain. As you can probably guess, this last clean, self-describing URL is what you want. To make your life easier, the Pathauto module can automatically create these URL aliases for you based on information like title, taxonomy, and content type. The only thing you need to do is to download, install, and enable the module although you should take a few minutes to configure or verify the default settings.

Clean URLs, URL aliases, and Pathauto are covered in Chapter 4. Pathauto can be downloaded from http://drupal.org/project/pathauto.

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