We recently worked on making URL’s of a WCM driven site SEO friendly. It has a couple of problems – the home page URL itself was not just the domain name but also had a trail of wps/wcm/connect/whatnot after it which was common for all the pages of the site as well.

How we resolved this was using reverse proxy @ the web server to hide the common part of the URL. We subsequently ran into a couple of new issues.

1. Generated links on pages were not relative
We had to re-write URL’s using regular expressions in all the responses. We had created a bunch of proxy context for a lot of our site libraries. We had to handle them all in the re-writing

2. What to do about already ranked pages with old URL’s
Since, we had used proxy, the old URL’s still worked. We didn’t use redirects as we were not sure how that could impact our page ranks. Setting canonical URL’s to the newer URL’s did the trick for us. Hence, page was accessible through both the URL’s for a while however, the search engine URL’s started reflecting the new URL’s within days.

Here is a list of a few reference articles and discussions which we came across and were helpful.

Setting Page specific title

Clean and SEO friendly URL’s

SEO friendly URL – 2

Some more on SEO friendly URL’s