Search engines have a preference when it comes to permalinks. Like humans, search engines prefer a permalink that relates more to the subject of the page to which it points.

WordPress creates, by default, a permalink based on a numerical value related to the position in its database. This type a permalink typically has this kind of ending: /?p=123. It’s not very descriptive of the content on that page or post.

Thankfully, there is an easy way to fix this in WordPress.

Permalinks is under the Settings tab.

Click on the Permalinks link under the Settings tab on the left sidebar.

This brings you to the Permalink Settings page. Here you can change the WordPress default settings for permalinks.  WordPress offers 4 basic settings and 1 custom setting. The default setting is based on the page or post’s position in the database, and not very helpful. There are also settings based on the day and name of the post, the month and the name of the post, and a numeric permalink based on the archive. None of these is friendly to search engines.

The Permalink Settings page.

Most often, search engines will like a permalink based on the name of the post (assuming the name is relevant to the content of the post). To create this, click on the Custom Structure radio button, and in the text box type: /%postname%?

Then click on the Save Changes button.

Now when you roll over links to pages or posts on your website, you’ll notice that the link is based on the name of the page or post. Your permalinks are now search-engine friendly!