I've been feverishly working to meet deadlines on the seo book and dealing with a sickness — so I've been quiet.  But I haven't been sleeping.  The book is now 100% done and edited.

So here's the introduction from Chapter 3, "Provocative SE-Friendly URLs."  Leave a comment and let me know what you think.  Or just buy it :) 

“Click me!” If the ideal URL could speak, its speech would resemble the communication of an experienced salesman. It would grab your attention with relevant keywords and a call to action, and it would persuasively argue that you should choose it instead of the other one. Other URLs on the page would pale in comparison.

URLs are more visible than many realize, and are a contributing factor in CTR. They are often cited directly in copy, and they occupy approximately 20% of the real estate in a given search engine result page. Apart from “looking enticing” to humans, URLs must be friendly to search engines. URLs function as the “addresses” of all content in a web site. If confused by them, a search engine spider may not reach some of your content in the first place. This would clearly reduce search engine friendliness.

Creating search engine friendly URLs becomes challenging and requires more forethought when developing a dynamic web site. A dynamic web site with poorly architected URLs presents numerous problems for a search engine. On the other hand, search engine friendly URLs containing relevant keywords may both increase search engine rankings, as well as prompt a user to click them.

This chapter discusses how well-crafted URLs can make the difference between highly ranked web pages and pages at the bottom of the search results. It then illustrates how to generate optimized URLs for dynamic web sites using the Apache mod_rewrite module in coordination with application code written in PHP. Lastly, this chapter considers some common caveats—and addresses how to avoid them.

By the end of this chapter you will acquire the skills that will enable you to employ search engine friendly URLs in a dynamic PHP-based web site. 

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