There are quite a few benefits of pretty URLs for "the believers":
- Google does look at URLs and include in assigning SERP rank
- On SERP, keywords in URLs are highlighted...so pretty URLs increase the likelihood of user clicking on the link
- In forwards etc, human readability and relevant keywords in URL improve clickability
- Pretty URLs are relatively easier to read and remember for humans
- Google considers the anchor text for links when allocating link juice. Considering that many times the anchor text is simply the URL itself, keywords in the URL can greatly help SERP rank.
On the other hand, there seem to be several reasons for "non believers" to not want pretty URLs, including but not limited to:
- developer time,
- potential impact on performance,
- potential security ramifications for private forums, etc
I am with Oleg - there should be an option for those who don't want pretty URLs to turn them off.
In terms of how to do it, I would once again point to the Wordpress option:
I think this is a good implementation...as not only do admins have the option to use or not use pretty URLs, but they can even define the structure of the URLs...thereby eliminating concerns around what structure the phpbb team should implement.
WP also checks to ensure there aren't duplicates...if it finds them, it quietly adds a number to the URL...e.g.
If you create a post called phpBB is cool, for which the permalink is http://www.greatestsite.com/phpbb-is-cool
And then another post called phpBB is cool, then WP will create the 2nd permalink as http://www.greatestsite.com/phpbb-is-cool-2
They way WP have implemented seems to be a relatively straightforward .htaccess path....although I must admin that while I said straightforward, I am not familiar with how simple or complex it is....also not sure of the limitations or suitability for phpbb.
For starters, I think something like this could work...
Code: Select all
or, if this seems too long, then
Code: Select all