The URLs of your website play an important role in deciding its ranking in various search engines such as Google, Yahoo, etc. In order to make your site appear as early as possible in search results and get it indexed quickly, its URLs should be search engine friendly and readable by humans i.e. they should have meaningful names. Usually the URL of a particular page is made up of the words from its title separated by hyphen. Joomla comes equipped with this SEO functionality and you just need to enable it. By default the URLs are complex and non user friendly. An example of the page titled as The News is shown below.
The search engine optimized URLs are also known as SEF (search engine friendly) URLs. To turn on SEF URLs do the following -
- Log on as a super administrator.
- Choose Site -> Global Configuration to open the Global Configuration page.
- In the SEO Settings panel, click on the Yes radio button in the Search Engine Friendly URLs section.
- Click the Apply or Save button.
Now view your site in a browser and then click on a link. For example if you open the same page titled as The News again you will see that its URL now is /index.php/the-news instead of /index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=1&Itemid=50 as shown below.
These new static URLs can vastly improve your site’s search engine rankings as compared to earlier dynamic URLs. You must have noticed that index.php is still there in the URL and looks odd. This can also be removed and will be explained in the next article.