[wp-hackers] is it a good idea to remove the category base?

David Law wp-hackers at google-adsense-templates.co.uk
Sat Dec 3 02:17:12 UTC 2011

On Fri, 2 Dec 2011 15:27:09 -0800, you wrote:

>The codex has this to say about Category base and Tag base
>The Category base and Tag base are prefixes used in URLs for category
>and tag archives, which look like this:
> example.net/wp/category_base/category_name
> example.net/wp/tag_base/tag_name
>The default values for these are category and tag. You can change
>them, but you can't remove them from the URLs altogether.
>But we all know that there are plugins that let you overcome this
>limitation allowing you to remove the category base, the question is

Everything below is talking pure SEO, there are other factors to

From an SEO perspective all words within a URL have an SEO impact, but
not a massive amount, one non-SEO'd word isn't something to loose
sleep over.

Ideally a URL would be the main SERP a page is targeting and maybe a
few related keywords.

Having a base category and tag word can be a negative, but also a
positive depending on the site.

For a highly niche site where most posts are about one subject it
makes sense to change the category and tag base to a relevant keyword
or two. For example the site in my sig the category base is changed to
/seo/ since pretty much every page on the site is related to SEO.

If it's a site with diverse content you can use a hyphen (-) if you
don't want to use a plugin. Google considers a hyphen as a seperator
(a space) so is basically SEO neutral in this context.

For SEO reasons I tend to only use categories and not tags, they are
pretty much the same output wise so not much point using both. So have
never had a site where I have to worry about changing both the
category and tag base, on the rare site I use tags (never many of
them) I leave the tag base as tag. If you had to get rid of both you
could use an underscore (_) for the tag base.

Don't make these changes on indexed sites, you'll damage your SERPs.

Included this info in one of my WordPress SEO Tutorials

I've considered using a plugin to remove them, but that means your
category/tag URLs could clash with your static Page URLs or even Post
URLs if you use /%postname% for your permalinks setting. So on my
WordPress sites (got about 90) I've used a relevant keyword or hyphen
instead, also means there's no chance of performance issues removing

Works for me, my sites recieve tens of thousands of search engine
visitors a day :-)

http://www.stallion-theme.com/ Stallion WordPress SEO Theme
http://www.stallion-theme.com/stallion-wordpress-seo-plugin Stallion
WordPress SEO Plugin

>For some reason, I sense that this kind of a modification would effect
>the performance and may cause odd behavior.
>Any comment-|insight appreciated ?
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