One of the best resources for learning how to increase traffic to your site is Rand Fishkin’s seomoz.org Among the many strategies Rand advocates is paying close attention to the structure and content of your URLs. The more search-engine-friendly and user-friendly a site’s URLs are, the more likely people are to find them and use them.
In a blog post on this subject, Rand provides 11 guidelines for optimizing URLs for user discovery, use, and re-use. Below is a summary:
You can find some more information about URLs in a MarketPosition article.
In a typical ASP.NET Web site, your control over URL structure is limited. By default, URLs reflect your folder structure and file names. And if you want to pass information to a page by using variable data in the URL, you have to do it in a querystring.
If you are building a site from scratch, you might be able to create folder and file names that result in descriptive URLs with minimal folder depth, but that might also result in an awkward file and folder structure. If you want to improve SEO for an existing site, reworking your entire file and folder structure in order to make URLs more user-friendly can be impractical. And even if files and folder names are SEO-friendly, you are still stuck with querystrings whenever you want to include variable information in a URL.
Routing in ASP.NET helps resolve these dilemmas. Routing enables you to specify URL patterns that are independent of a site’s file and folder structure. It also enables you to pass variable information in segments of the URL instead of in querystrings.
For example, suppose that your folders organize pages by security access rules, and you have a ShowProductDetails.aspx page in a Customer folder because it is for customer use. The ShowProductDetails.aspx page takes a querystring parameter that provides the name of the product to display. Without routing, a URL to display widget details might look like the following:
By using ASP.NET routing, you can define a URL pattern like the following example which invokes ShowProductDetails.aspx but does not contain the folder name or the file name or a querystring:
With this route defined for your site, the following URL would display the same page as the one shown previously:
The only change required in ShowProductDetails.aspx is to retrieve the product name from the URL parameter productname instead of from the querystring parameter productname.
Routing was available in earlier versions of ASP.NET, but relatively complex code has been required to do basic tasks such as:
ASP.NET 4 includes several new features that simplify the code required to accomplish these tasks. For more information, see the following ASP.NET 4 Beta 1 documentation:
· ASP.NET Routing
· Walkthrough: Using ASP.NET Routing in a Web Forms Application
· How to: Define Routes for Web Forms Applications
· How to: Access URL Parameters in a Routed Page
· How to: Construct URLs from Routes
-- Tom DykstraASP.NET User EducationThis posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
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