Many of the available CMS systems will, if not instructed otherwise, produce URL’s that are long and very forgetful. Moreover, using the base url’s in a CMS system can sometimes create issues in that it can produce different URL’s all pointing at the same page which in turn can create duplicate content problems.
It is better that URL’s are re-written to something that is ‘digestible’ and more agreeable to both the consumer and the spider.
Using words (keywords) in your URL’s has a positive effect on your SEO efforts. Google suggests (a.k.a. warns) that you shouldn’t go overboard on the length of the url or stuff keywords into it.
The url issues are somewhat in the same arena to the site structure and also has a foot in the robots.txt section, so both of those sections are worth a look.
URL links such as these are the default here:
This a few tweaks, your URL’s go to this
This is infinately better.
The advice would be to keep the structure simple. Hyphenate words with a ‘-‘ blue-widgets as opposed to blue-widgets. URL’s that are dynamically created need to be watched as they may produce different URL’s for different pages.
If you are using an Apache server many of the URL parameters and issues can be amended in your .htaccess file. But a cautionary note: If you have a site that is doing ok in search the work on the URL’s may be very timely then maybe it’s as good to leave well enough alone. To be frank – spending time turning www.mysite/products/product_detail.php?product_id=1 into www.mysite/products/product1 is wasteful if you set it as a priority.
You may just get a decent enough bounce by concentrating on the more accessible SEO techniques without having to venture into this area too much. It can be very complex.
Really this should be looked at during the development stage of the site – when it’s first being worked through. If it was looked at and planned for at this point, then some of the nasty looking URL’s may not have to make an appearance.