Joomla is a fantastic content management system (CMS). It is one of the most widely used CMS systems in the world.

With all the good, does come some bad. Joomla in its default state isn't the most search engine friendly CMS. The URLs that it creates from the system have variables and values passed through them. This is all well and good for the system but means nothing for a regular browser and in the lines of keywords for search engines.

Now, I can't be too harsh because Joomla does come with a search engine friendly feature where the variables are turned from

index.php?option=content&task=view&id=2097&Itemid=159

to some this like

/content/view/4682/1/

To improve this search engine friendly component of Joomla we need to use a third party component. There are a few third party components that will rewrite the URLs to a more user friendly layout. These include components such as SmartSEF, sh404SEF, and my favourite Artio SEF.

SmartSEF
"The smartsef component is an url rewriting component for Joomla 1.5. With Smartsef you can turn Joomla 1.5 into real SEF url's without numbers or other logic within the URL's. Smartsef gives you full control over the Joomla 1.5. generated URLs and the order how they must displayed."

sh404SEF
"sh404SEF creates Joomla SEF URL, and turn them to a more user-friendly format for your site visitors, as well as for search engines. It makes use of plugins to process the various components used in a site. Plugins for VirtueMart, Fireboard, Community Builder, iJoomla Magazine, and more are included."

Artio SEF
"This component for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will rewrite your Joomla! URLs not to be only Search Engine Friendly (SEF), but also to be human easily understandable. Provides support for multilingual sites using JoomFish."

Each one of these components have different features and support search engine friendly URLs for other components that can be installed with Joomla. I personally prefer to use Artio SEF but there are circumstances and different site variations where one of the other search engine friendly components are needed.

The Benefits of Search Engine Friendly URLs

Well, let looks at some search results for Google. When you search for something on Google, you're guarenteed to find that the top listings for any keyword search all have search engine friendly URLs. If this is the case then any site that is made with Joomla that doesn't take advantage of the search engine friendly URLs are already behind the 8 ball when it comes to search engine rankings.

So next time when you're implementing a Joomla site, just remember to take advantage of the search engine friendly URL components that are available for the CMS. They'll make a world of difference to your search engine rankings.

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