The debate regarding dynamic vs. static links continues to rage amongst webmasters, who each have their own perspective on which type of link is best for SEO. However, first and foremost, what exactly is a dynamic or static link?
A static link is a webpage that has a permanent and unchanged URL. For instance, your homepage URL is likely a static link, such as: http://www.yourhomepage.com/index.htm. Any system of URL naming for other permanent web pages in your site are likely to be static, such as the page to the “About Us” section.
By contrast, if your website uses a script that can create custom web pages through a database query, then you have the ability to generate pages with dynamic links. Generally, dynamic pages are the results of a database search driven by a user looking for specific information. The script takes the variables that the user typed or checked and searches a database to create a custom web page from a template, inserting the specific information the user requested.
For instance, a dynamic page link may look like this on your site:
In this example, a page was created using the “productid” of 12345 and a “colorid” of 5.
Often, the dynamic result of a search or query can be helpful to many users. Subsequently, a “dynamic link” is often rewritten via the .htaccess file to look like a static URL, so that search engines and users can more readily view and pass along the link to others. A site may choose to rewrite the URL above into something like:
This rewriting process is not always easy, however, and in some cases may not be necessary. Is it still worth it? Can a dynamic-looking URL link still be effective for SEO? How does it compare to static links?
Static links are by far more helpful in SEO for many reasons. First, a static link is permanent, and therefore, easier and more likely to be crawled and indexed by a search bot.
Secondly, the “html” format of static links can be easier to index with keywords. Take for instance the fact that you can create a webpage file name with hyphens, such as Chicago-condo-real-estate-listings.htm. Google or other major search engines can read hyphens as a separator and thus “Chicago,” “condo,” “realestate,” and “listings” would act as keywords to help identify and index that page.
Third, the static keyword-rich link has a better likelihood of users clicking through because they can also see whether the keywords in the link are relevant to their search.
Lastly, static links also are easier to copy and paste by users. The permanency of a static link gives confidence to users if they wish to forward the link or save it in a file.
Even though static links are more “advisable” for SEO purposes, advancements in the bots have allowed major search engines to scan, rank, and index dynamic web pages.
The biggest advantage of dynamic links is that you can create custom web page content with a template, some CSS, and a virtually unlimited amount of variables pulled and posted on the web page. This has great benefits to users who are looking for particular information.
in cases where you decide to use dynamic content, you should give us the possibility to analyze your URL structure and not remove information by hiding parameters and making them look static.”
Overall, static links are still considered to be more effective (since they are more friendly for users to interpret), although the use of dynamic looking links is no longer as detrimental as it used to be.