Future-proof your Site URLs with Virtual URL Routing
 by Casey Markee

Future-proof your Site URLs with Virtual URL Routing

  • I have noticed some of the top players in the SEO world (SEOmoz, Bruce Clay, High Rankings and others) do not use html or htm at the end of url extensions in their inner pages. Example: http://www.seomoz.org/features. Do they know something I don't? Is there a reason for this practice? Just trying to figure out why. Any thoughts on this matter would be appreciated.

Future Proof Virtual URL RoutingAnswer: Good question! What you are seeing here is an example of virtual URL routing. The purpose of this is to hide the behind the scenes information on the URL itself (not doing so may result in some pretty gnarly URL structures being rendered).

For example, we have repeatedly recommended Wordpress here at Search Engine News. One of the benefits of that platform is that it provides what are called pretty permalinks which in turn look like this: http://www.example.com/sample-blog-post/. You can see in this instance that the software has inherently dropped the need for a page extension at the end of the URL.

This has some obvious benefits, and keeps everything nice and uniform and provides elegant looking URLs. In contrast, if a page has to dynamically render many different elements that could result in a served URL that would be both overly long and difficult to bookmark or share virally with users.

The use of virtual URL routing eliminates these practical difficulties. Users do not need to see the calls to the server or all of the various resources that need to be accessed to render the average Web page (just like you don't need to see the page has a .php or .htm or .asp extension). That information is really irrelevant to you as the user.

This is actually the accepted W...