Ask Mavis – What is a Slug in WordPress?

by Mavis Nong on December 21, 2011

Ask Mavis   What is a Slug in WordPress?Welcome back to the Ask Mavis series.

Did you miss it last week?

You can catch up and share your thoughts here:

It’s a great read, packed with very powerful strategies if you want to grow your list like the top bloggers do.

Moving on to this week’s question:

What is a Slug in WordPress?

A slug in WordPress? What on earth is that?

Slugs form part of your URL. They are the words that come after a slash “/”, following your domain name.

For example:http://www.attractionmarketingonline.com/drive-traffic-business-press-releases/- “drive-traffic-business-press-releases” is a slug.

As you can see, I’m not using any extra words, known as “stop words” in my URL such as ‘to’, ‘is’, ‘I’, ‘how’, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘with’, ‘was’, ‘by’, ‘this’, ‘that’ and the like. Why?

They have no significance, they don’t contribute to my search engine rankings at all. They make the URLs way too long, streching your readers’ eyes. They don’t grab their attention immediately. And search engines pay no attention to them.

Solution?

Always edit your slugs before publishing your posts. You can do this manually or use a plugin called, SEO Slugs 1.0 by Andrei Mikrukov. It automatically removes stop words like ‘the’, ‘is’, ‘to’ and so on from your permalinks.

To increase the chances of ranking high on the search engines, use keywords only. If you’re doing it manually, be sure to use “-” in between to separate the words.

Example: http://www.attractionmarketingonline.com/increase-blog-speed/.

There you have it. You know what a slug in WordPress is and what you need to do to make your post and page URLs search engine friendly.

Quick question for you…

Is your blog URL properly optmised?

I see a lot of bloggers not editing their slugs and using dates in their permalinks.

Check out this post to learn more:

That’s it for today. I look forward to answering more of your questions.

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Oliver Tausend December 21, 2011 at 8:53 AM

Hi Mavis,

thanks for sharing your insights. It’s very important that we eliminate all the stop words and only use keyword relevant words in the title. I use the same plugin as you and I can confirm that it is very handy.

Be blessed

Oliver
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Mavis Nong December 21, 2011 at 11:04 AM

You’re welcome, Oliver. Glad to hear the plugin works well for you too :)

Best,
Mavis

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Nicky December 21, 2011 at 9:27 AM

I rarely come away from your blog without learning something Mavis. I usually do edit my blog post titles in the url, but occasionally I click publish without editing, so knowing that there is a plugin to do this automatically is good news! Thanks for sharing!
Nicky
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Mavis Nong December 21, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Glad to hear that, Nicky :)

You’re most welcome.

Best,
Mavis

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Lulu December 21, 2011 at 10:55 AM

A slug is something you definitely need to consider when you build your URLs for new articles.
I totally agree on the fact that you need to keep it simple and with the main keywords. Also, underscores shouldn’t be used.

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Mavis Nong December 21, 2011 at 11:03 AM

True

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Ruth Sayson December 21, 2011 at 2:39 PM

I never thought that using slug is very important in search engine optimization. I just recently started a blog and I think that I’ve got plenty of things to learn from you.

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Mavis Nong December 21, 2011 at 2:52 PM

Glad to hear that, Ruth. Welcome to my blog! :)

Do come back as I have loads to share ;)

Best,
Mavis

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Cathy Miller December 21, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Learn from my mistake-I hadn’t realized that my settings for the permalink included the date. I changed to just the blog & post name. That messed up all my internal post links. I had to revert back just to make sure the links worked.

Is there a way to change the permalink setting without messing up all the links done previously? Thanks, Mavis.
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Mavis Nong December 22, 2011 at 8:44 AM

Yes, Cathy. I share the plugin that you need to install before changing your permalinks in the post that I referred to above ;)

http://www.attractionmarketingonline.com/optimise-blog-url/

Best,
Mavis

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Cathy Miller December 22, 2011 at 3:53 PM

I saw that, but I try not to add a bunch of plugins. So, I’m guessing there isn’t an easy way to change the setting without it affecting prior posts.
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Mavis Nong December 22, 2011 at 4:26 PM

That’s the only way I know of, Cathy ;)

Best,
Mavis

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richard December 22, 2011 at 12:40 AM

Thanks for the tip Mavis. I fall into that crowd of bloggers who is not removing my slugs. That’s admittedly one area that I’ve neglected as far as seo goes in my urls. I’ll make it my new years resolution to fix my slugs.
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Mavis Nong December 22, 2011 at 8:41 AM

Great plan, Richard :)

Best,
Mavis

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Amy Hagerup December 22, 2011 at 2:37 AM

I was so happy when I got this figured out myself. Thanks for the reminder. I want to be sure to modify the slugs before i publish a post. You are so practical.

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Mavis Nong December 22, 2011 at 8:41 AM

That’s great to hear, Amy :)

Best,
Mavis

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Ken Pickard December 22, 2011 at 7:36 AM

Mavis,

One of the things I admire about your blog is how you can take a simple item like editing your perma link and create a post out of it. I just showed this little tip on a webinar recently and several people continued to ask questions about it.

After a few years of blogging I forget about the little things and how new people need to know them. These quick tips can have such a big impact on someones blog.

Thanks for sharing.

Ken Pickard
The Network Dad
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Mavis Nong December 22, 2011 at 8:46 AM

You’re welcome, Ken. One thing I learned is not to assume that everyone knows as much as you do. Quick tips can help a lot of people out there.

Thanks for the visit and comment.

Best,
Mavis

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Mel Melhado December 22, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Interesting! your posts always have something new to offer to your readers. It was an interesting experience reading about the slug concept. To be honest I was not aware that slug was so important for search engine optimization. Readers will certainly benefit from such a brilliant post.

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Mavis Nong December 22, 2011 at 3:49 PM

Glad you found this helpful, Mel.

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Azhar from medical billing services December 22, 2011 at 6:49 PM

I use slug in Wordpress while inserting keyword but you have introduced science of slug.

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Mavis Nong December 23, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Great!

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Swamykant December 25, 2011 at 6:44 AM

Hi Mavis

Slug are very important for search engine optimization. Nice post.
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Mavis Nong December 27, 2011 at 6:08 PM

Thanks, Swamykant.

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Allen December 26, 2011 at 5:12 AM

Hello Mavis thank you so much for sharing this information about this Slug In Wordpress..I really enjoy reading this article and its give and ideas and tips in how to put a good title in my post..!!

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Mavis Nong December 26, 2011 at 5:22 PM

You’re welcome, Allen.

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Sandy Moore December 26, 2011 at 10:11 PM

Thanks for the clarification on wordpress slugs Mavis.
As usual you always manage to offer new insights.

Sandy
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Mavis Nong December 27, 2011 at 12:38 PM

My pleasure, Sandy.

Have wonderful holidays :)

Mavis

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Chandru December 27, 2011 at 2:46 AM

A really informative article. In addition to web page optimization, web page link also should be optimized. Thank you for providing very useful information about the wordpress plugin as well.
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Mavis Nong December 27, 2011 at 12:36 PM

You’re welcome, Chandru.

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Lani - Aloha December 28, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Aloha Mavis, I appreciate the refresh post here on Wordpress slug and I do need to pay attention to this. I suppose at times there are so much to keep in mind we tend to overlook important things like this. I first heard of Slug viewing Anna’s blog, very cool. Also with permalink, I do notice the oversite on this with many blogs and I took care of this when I first started my blog. I am glad I came by and thanks for sharing! Mahalo, Lani :)
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Mavis Nong December 28, 2011 at 6:27 PM

You’re welcome, Lani. Hope you’re having wonderful holidays :)

Mahalo and best wishes to you and yours,
Mavis

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naomi January 3, 2012 at 6:53 AM

I’ve been on this field almost a year now but I haven’t heard about “slug” (thanks for your article)..very informative.

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Mavis Nong January 3, 2012 at 11:37 AM

You’re welcome, Naomi.

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Argie Monroy January 25, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Too bad I’m still incorporating stop words on my blog’s url..Thanks for reminding me Mavis, and for the plugin link as well :)
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Mavis Nong January 25, 2012 at 6:51 PM

My pleasure, Argie. Welcome to my blog!

Mavis

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Peter August 25, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Excellent, Mavis, I am a virgin in blogging and thoroughly enjoy having stumbled upon your blog, THANKS!

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Mavis Nong August 26, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Welcome to my blog, Peter. Stay tuned to my blog and emails to learn more :)

Best,
Mavis

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