When you install WordPress you will no doubt notice that the default permalink structure is not a very welcoming or informative one, the Default (yourdomain.com/?p=123) structure offers no real value to search engines, so a lot of owners will change their permalink structure to the more popular day/month/year and post name (yourdomain.com/name-of-post/) one.
But Even This is Flawed
It has been proven beyond doubt that having a date in your permalink structure severely diminishes the CTR (click through ratio) from search engine results, who in their right mind wants to take advice or read an article that is many years old – even if it does indeed have the answer that they are seeking? The answer is: not many.
Google uses CTR as a sort of ‘benchmark’ on where to place links in their search engine results, so obviously ones that have dates in the link will receive less clicks and be forced down to the bottom of the results.
Some months ago I made the decision to change my permalink structure to one that doesn’t involve disclosing a date, I decided to pick the Post Name option (yourdomain/name-of-post/) and it was not long before I noticed my blog was receiving more traffic AND my pages were being ranked higher than before. Coincidence? I think not!
Simply going into your admin panel and changing the permalink structure is not as straight forward as you might think, once you change the permalink structure via your admin panel you will find that all the links you created to your pages will now be broken and direct to your 404 error page.
There is a Solution!
A wonderful guy named Yoast has come to the rescue and has created a script that will help you redirect all these links so you don’t have to visit these sites and change them all manually, and it will only take a couple of minutes to implement.
1. Visit Yoast’s helpful Permalink Redirect Helper (opens in new tab/window) and fill in your details.
2. The code that the script produces needs to be placed at the top of your .htaccess file. You might find you have more than one .htaccess file, the one you need to edit is the one that is located among your wp files.
And that is it, your old links will now redirect to their pages as normal.
Please let me know how you get on with this tutorial.