How To Change WordPress Permalinks in SEO Friendly Way


What you are going to learn from this tutorial:
1. The correct permalink (url) structure you should use for your blog or website
2. How to change permalinks (url) in a SEO friendly way, if you are not already using the correct permalink structure.

The Not-So SEO Friendly URL / Permalink Structure

Whether it is Blogger or WordPress, the default permalink structure in both of them is wrong if you care for SEO. But at least you have the freedom to change it in WordPress. And this is one of the many reasons that motivated me to shift my blog from Blogger to WordPress.
In WordPress, you have custom permalinks (more on this, later in this article), so you can decide which permalink structure you want to use. And thanks to the hack explained in this article, you can certainly change and optimize your permalink structure anytime you want without affecting your current SEO and giving a 404-not found for your existing backlinks.

Limitations in Blogger / BlogSpot

If your blog is hosted on Blogger platform, then you don’t have a choice but to use the default link structure given by Blogger, which is quite SEO unfriendly and it is surprising, as Blogger belongs to Google [around which all of our SEO exists today]. The permalinks/url structure in Blogger/Blogpost is like this:


This structure is only useful to your readers and search engines if yours is a news website. So, it is quite important for you to show the date (month) on which your article was initially published (and even in that case, it is better to show the date along with the title rather than in the url). But there are many cons associated to this structure:

  1. It eats up some useful space which could otherwise display your keywords in Google SERPs.
  2. Google prefers new and fresh content, so it might send your page to lower ranks after a few days if your content isn’t getting updated with time.

You can see that in Google SERPs, Google truncates the url after keeping a maximum of around 75-85 characters in the search results.
So, even Google’s own blog prefers to keep their url-structure different from their actual title so as to NOT miss any important keywords in the url:
For those on Blogger platform, although you cannot remove the year and month directories from your url structure, but do make sure to give more information to Google with your permalink structure.

If you have been using the wrong kind of permalinks all along and now you want to change your URL structure, then this tutorial is for you. And even if you have migrated your blog from Blogger to WordPress and now you want to change the URL to a SEO friendly version, then again this one is for you.

Before I explain you how to change permalinks in WordPress while keeping SEO and backlink juice in mind, let’s see what all options do we have in WordPress for Permalinks.

Permalink Settings in WordPress

[And Choosing The Correct One]

In WordPress [Dashboard >> Settings >> Permalinks], you have many options:

  • Plain –
  • Day and name –
  • Month and name –
  • Numeric –
  • Post name –

Simply ignore the “plain” and “numeric” structures. You can either go to a date format if yours is a news based website/blog or go to a category based permalink, if your have defined categories in your WP website (mainly for WP sites who have an eCommerce shop associated with their blogs).

For everybody else, the correct permalink structure is blog name followed by “Post name”.

How To Change Permalinks Without Affecting Your Current SEO or Backlinks

So, in case you already have a different structure and now you want to change the permalink structure then simply follow the steps mentioned here. This is also applicable to all those bloggers, who migrated from Blogger to WordPress to use a better Permalink structure.

So, let’s say your current permalink structure is like this:

or like this:

And you want to make it like this (SEO friendly):

For this, you have to take two steps:

  1. Make changes in your WordPress Permalinks Settings and select it as “Post name”
  2. Tell Google (and everybody else) that you have changed your permalink structure via your .htaccess file.

WordPress Permalinks & .htaccess

In your .htaccess file all you need to do is, add just one line. If the (.htaccess) file is not visible in your WP installation folder, just make sure that you have selected to view “hidden files” in your hosting >> file manager or simply create a basic .htacess file.

The line of code that you need to add is something like this:

RedirectMatch 301 ^/([0-9]{4})/([0-9]{2})/([^/]+).html$$3

Create the exact permalink redirection code for your .htaccess file using the Yoast permalink creator handy tool.
Once you have the code, simply paste it in your .htaccess file and save it.

For, those who have migrated from their blogs from Blogger to WordPress, make sure that you use the customized permalink structure as your old permalink:
And once your line of code is generated, simple paste it in your .htaccess file and save it.

NOTE: There are many plugins available in WordPress which promise to do the same task without asking you to manually change the .htaccess file, but in my own experience none of them worked. If any of the widgets did work for you, then please share it with others via comments.


A ProBlogger - helping budding entrepreneurs and solopreneurs realizing their dreams to launch & make their websites and blogs popular and successful :)

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