As we head towards the summer, one of the biggest problems facing people in the UK is slugs. If left to their own devices, slugs can invade your nice new patch and undo all of your good efforts – leaving you with a real mess when you were perhaps expecting a lush green landscape.
No – we haven’t gone all Alan Titchmarsh on you, and we’re not talking about gardening; we’re talking about slugs on your website, and their impact on your SEO. A slug is the name given to the page name of a dynamic URL when it is rewritten by a CMS such as WordPress, and it is usually a very search engine friendly thing indeed.
For example, instead of /p=1929 as the name of a post on your website, your post might be something like /latest-seo-advice.html – the search engine friendly slug contains keywords relating to your post, making it better optimised for SEO.
So slugs are nice?
Yes, but they can go bad – and this is what happens when slugs go bad. If your title contained something along the lines of: The Latest ‘SEO’ Advice, your slug may automatically be formatted as: /the-latest-%E2%80%98SEO%E2%80%99-advice.html.
As you can see, the addition of the code %E2%80%98 and %E2%80%99 fills your slug up with useless characters. This is easily remedied by simply editing the slug, or permalink, itself to remove the apostrophes.
It’s amazing how often people forget about their slugs, and the impact of their fine SEO efforts can be undone by a few errant slugs, eating away at their rankings.