One of the constant struggles with WebSphere Portal is SEO issues with the urls that are generated. Work arounds like hard coding urls, url mapping, turning off friendly url redirects, and URL rewrites at the HTTP server, have all been tried and are more than easy to maintain. CF 08 for Portal 8.5 changed that and made things much easier. Today I will discuss two of the changes and how it made things easier.
First lets talk about friendly urls without state. It is documented in the infocenter here http://www-01.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SSHRKX_8.5.0/mp/admin-system/mp_friendly_short_url.dita?lang=en What is unique abut this is that you do not need to go through and do conditional checking. Portal does this for you, additionally you can set it globally or just on certain pages. So if part of you portal is anonymous you would want it there for nice indexing, but your internal portal never gets hit by google, so you can leave it off to better support internal projects that might require state to be preserved.
A few caveats, you need to make sure you update your themes to generate your URLs with el code like this
This is the code that specifically calls portal to check if it needs to be state saved or not. Additionally there is a defect at the time of this writing that if you try to set it at the page level but not a global setting that the page setting is not picked up. The patch has been created but I am not sure what CF it will be targeted for.
The second part is if you want to remove the /wps/portal from your URL. This is documented here http://www-01.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SSHRKX_8.5.0/mp/config/cfg_intr_seo.dita With this you can have urls that are of the type domainname.com/products/productname which will generate a url like you want and will index much nicer into the search engine and help you get higher results within the returned results.
Some caveats with this, is it will not work with commerce/wcm integration, nor will it work with the Web Application Bridge. You will also have to be careful that it does not conflict with some of your existing applications that may be running on the same server as the Portal.
Combining both of these features together lets you provide clear and concise urls for your site.