Long URL vs query string

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I've been working for a few months now on a site which has the
potential to grow pretty big.  The site is completely database driven
to make it easy for content submission and management.  To start thing
out it uses a basic PHP page with a query string to reference content.
The content is in a tree structure, but although you may be several
levels deep in the tree the URL will still be a top level page with a
single query string parameter.

With some playing around with mod_rewrite, I have it figured out how to
redo the tree so that it looks like a nested static URL.  For basic
content browsing this will look nicer, but the URLs have the potential
to get rather long.

As an example, here are two ways of getting to the same content:

Dynamic -> /beach.php?id=2

Static -> /World/USA/Florida/South_Beach.html

How are search engines behaving these days towards deep nested URLs?
In the above example, the dynamic page always shows as top level.  On
the other hand, the static URL is four levels deep.  On the gripping
hand, the static URL shows some very good keywords as part of the URL.

Has anyone else who has tried a conversion like this seen any notable
results one way or the other with the search engines?

Thanks for any feedback.

Beach Comber
http://worldbeachlist.com /

Re: Long URL vs query string

On 17 Apr 2005 08:19:54 -0700, "Beach Comber"

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I wouldn't worry about directory depth, search engines use links to
determine if something is worth indexing, if a page has enough links
(or one good link (it's about PR of the link/s)) it will be indexed no
matter how deep it is.

Use hyphens (-) as word separators not underscores (_) so-


Since Google will see the hyphen as a space (South Beach) whilst
underscores are seen as underscores (South_Beach) during the ranking

Free Search Engine Optimization Tutorial
http://www.seo-gold.com/tutorial /

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