Another tip from Hesham over at FamousBloggers.net lead me to test and start using the SEO Slugs Plugin for WordPress. I have installed the plug-in on all of my blogs now and it is worth being added to my “must use” plug-ins for wordpress to help make sure your post slug (which is the URI of your post in the URL bar) is SEO optimized and doesn’t include useless words like “a,the,and…etc”
What is a SLUG?
Simple, In WordPress, the SLUG is the part of the URL that comes after your domain name.
https://www.dragonblogger.com <- Domain Name
https://www.dragonblogger.com “/wordpress-seo-plugin-seo-slugs” <- Slug
Normally be default wordpress will try to make the slug be exactly what you have as your post title, this is where the SEO Plug-in comes in. It strips out the common words that have useless duplication when it comes to Google Indexing. By default it also means your SLUG will be shorter, in addition to being optimized for the Search Engine Crawlers when they pick up your URL’s on your site.
The good thing about the plug-in is you can install it and know it won’t hurt any of your old posts (you can’t change a slug after the fact or you could end up with 404 pages from Google Indexing and you would have to put redirector methods. You should never change a blog post slug/URI after it has been published and indexed by Google except under extreme circumstances.
Going forward though I recommend all bloggers to use the SEO Slugs WordPress Plug-in to help make sure your WordPress Slugs are SEO Optimized and get those extra unneeded words stripped off of the slug.
By the way, this plug-in has no options. You just install it and the next time you type New Post and start writing a title you will notice how the Slug comes out a bit more compressed. You can test this by deliberately trying to put words like and/for/a in the Title and they won’t show up in the slug anymore. There is virtually no overhead to your RAM when using the plug-in as it is only invoked when creating a new blog post, once the slug is set the plug-in does nothing else after that.
You can read an incredible in depth write up on SEO Slugs for WordPress on Website in a Weekend which includes a breakdown of the code and how it works. A truly great read!