catalog-urls

Catalog URLs

The URLs you assign to products and categories play a major role in determining how well
your site is indexed by search engines. Before you start building your catalog is an ideal time to
consider the available options.

Dynamic URL

A dynamic URL is created “on the fly,” and might include a query string with variables for the
product ID, sort order, and the page where the request was made. When a customer searches
for a product in your store, the resulting URL might look something like this:
http://mystore.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=tee+shirt

Static URL

A static URL is a fixed address for a specific page. A static URL can be displayed in a searchengine
friendly format, or one that references products and categories by ID. Search-engine
friendly URLs include words that people might use to look for a product, and are created by
enabling Web Server Rewrites.
http://mystore.com/accessories/eyewear.html
http://mystore.com/catalog/product/view/id/409/s/chelsea-tee-
409/category/16/

URL Key

The URL key is the part of a static URL that describes the product or category. When you
create a product or category, an initial URL key is automatically generated based on the name.
The URL key should consist of lowercase characters with hyphens to separate words. A welldesigned,
“search engine friendly” URL key might include the product name and key words to
improve the way it is indexed by search engines. The URL key can be configured to create an
automatic redirect if the URL key is changed.

Store Code

The store code can be included in the URL. However, it might cause problems if third-party
services, such as PayPal, are configured to work with a URL that does not include the code. By
default, the store code is not included in URLs.

HTML Suffix

Your catalog can be configured to either include or exclude the .html suffix as part of category
and product URLs. There are various reasons why people might choose to use or to omit the
suffix. Some believe that the suffix no longer serves any useful purpose, and that pages without
a suffix are indexed more effectively by search engines. However, your company might have a
standardized format for URLs, that requires a suffix.
The most important thing to understand is that the suffix is controlled by your system
configuration. Never type the suffix directly into the URL key of a category or product. (Doing
so will result in a double suffix at the end of the URL.) Whether you decide to use the suffix or
not, be consistent and use the same setting for all your product and category pages. Here are
examples of a category URL with, and without, the suffix.
http://mystore.com/accessories/eyewear.html
http://mystore.com/accessories/eyewear/retro-chic-eyeglasses

Category Path

You can configure the URL to either include or exclude the category path. By default, the
category path is included in all category and product pages. The following examples show the
same product URL with, and without, the category path.
http://mystore.com/accessories/eyewear/retro-chic-eyeglasses
http://mystore.com/retro-chic-eyeglasses
To prevent search engines from indexing multiple URLs that lead to the same content, you can
exclude the category path from the URL. Another method is to use a canonical meta tag to let
search engines know which URLs to index and which to ignore.

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