Final Note

Firstly, thank you for (hopefully) sticking with me on this rather long journey through SEO encoding methods for search results. I hope that it has been worth it!

As a final note, I hope that the previous pages of the tome have given some insight into the thought that needs to go into a search appliance. Although this was written with the open source Apache SOLR faceted search engine in mind, it should be relevant to any search appliance implementation.

A balance always need to be maintained between usability, URL readability and memorability and SEO preferences. This has to be counter-balanced with the time and effort required to implement the solution in whichever of the multiple programming languages that exist.

A final note, I will just touch on site search URLs, for example versus once again, debate rages whether having the SSA on a different URL improves or detracts from SEO rankings on SEPs. In any case SOLR1 may be set up to be either on a separate URL on on the same URL. SOLR does have a distinct advantage that it provides both an HTML and binary search interface so that the actual search engine may be on a separate host then the results display host.

The implementation

As with all articles, the journey from though to implementation can be a long one. As I was researching and writing this article the parallel task was to build up a code base that would perform all of the functions listed in the Type 4 and Type 5 encoding methods. After all, everything looks good in theory, whether it works in practice is another thing entirely.

Unfortunately, the code is not quite ready for prime-time at this moment, however I will keep you posted and there will definitely be a release done on the ‘projects’ page.

About the code

Throughout this article I have alluded to the Apache SOLR project, an open source faceted search engine that can be configured to decode any one of the encoding types mentioned in this article.

The code that is currently under development will use SOLR as its faceted search engine and run through any of the JSP/Servlet containers.


Use the following links to skip straight to a page, or browse through the pages one by one.

  1. The Site Search Appliance
  2. Type 0 – Request Parameters
  3. Segue into URL binding
  4. Type 1 – Throwaway URLs with Request Parameters
  5. Type 2 – Parsing Hint Positional URLs
  6. Type 3 – Hard-coded Positional Parameters
  7. Type 4 – Positional Parameters with Encoded Parsing Hints
  8. Type 5 – Extra Information Positional Parameters with Encoded Parsing Hints
  9. Encoding Type Showdown
  10. Final Note


  1. Or indeed any search appliance

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