Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on July 31st, 2009

Drupal URL Modules You Need to Activate

At this point in your SEO life cycle, you just began using Drupal to manage your site and are looking to properly set up the correct, basic modules from it’s core package. Drupal Core comes with some useful modules that will enable your site to establish a healthy, ongoing relationship with all the search engines and their algorithmic spiders. Drupal comes very friendly out of the box, but it may take a few modules to get you the momentum you are looking for to climb up the SERPs. Here are three necessary Drupal SEO module activations you should make, in order to achieve the SEO success you want for your site.

1. Activate Drupal’s Clean URLs Feature

Drupal’s default URLs leave a little room for desire. Here is an example:

This URL is not SEO friendly for humans or algorithmic spiders. In fact, it is highly recommended to exclude any punctuation from URLs that you can. Drupal comes with a feature called “Clean URLs” that rewrites the URL with a cleaner, SEO-friendly format:

2. Activate the Path Module

This is a core module for Drupal 6 and allows you to create arbitrary URLs for any piece of content and optimize for both the humans and search engines. You can activate this module via the Drupal admin system. Log in and navigate to the Administer > Site building > Modules section. Find the Path module in the provided list and simply check the box and save. After the Path module is enabled, you should see a new section where you can enter a unique alias for content.

3. Install and Activate Pathauto Module

The Pathauto module takes the Path module to the next level by allowing an automatic creation of aliases, if one is not assigned. This module will need to be downloaded and installed, before activation. The Pathauto module requires both the Path and Token modules, so you will need to install and/or enable both these modules before you can use the Pathauto module. Once Path, Token, and Pathauto are all enabled, your Drupal site will auto-generate aliases for any new or revised pieces of content.

Drupal is an easy to use, search-friendly publishing platform for websites looking for a free, open source solution to their SEO problems. Drupal comes with a variety of modules in its core package that can get your site running efficiently straight out of the box. Any Drupal module that does not come with Drupal’s core package will have a homepage to download its latest release. Once you have downloaded the newest version, decompress the archive and copy the module’s folder into your ‘modules’ directory. This should add the new module to your list of modules in the administrator’s Modules section, where you can activate it. This gives you even more tools to optimize your site for your human and search engine visitors.