I was looking for some good questions about SEO and URL structure, because it is an essential part of web programming, especially when you are thinking about URL manipulation with PHP.

But the best hits via Google were closed by moderators with, IMHO, nonsense reasons.

I think these are nonsense reasons, because those questions are not opinion-based like:

What looks better, a or b?

They are asking for deeper SEO knowledge:

What works better, a or b or something totally different, or does it matter anyway?

And SEO knowledge is not magic, nor a kind of fashion – it's based on rules like every programming language – that's why I do not see any reason to close such good questions with such arbitrary reasons.

The only reason I would commit is that they should ask such a question in Webmasters Stack Exchange. So it is just the wrong part of SE.

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    "What is best" is not a real question because "best" doesn't mean anything concrete. Best to you might be different than best to me and someone else can think it means something completely different. You should review Good Subjective, Bad Subjective to understand the methodlogy. – psubsee2003 Mar 4 '14 at 12:38
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    Honestly I think this is partially phrasing, if you had couched a question as "Is this a good way of doing a RESTful URL" or something of that nature you probably would have had better success. – Mgetz Mar 4 '14 at 12:41
  • You only read titles like Lukasz wrote in his answer. Maybe the title is not best, but the question at all is a good question, because it is answerable and does not ask for opinions, because there are fundamental rules and knowledge what is good for SEO and what not. – Jurik Mar 4 '14 at 12:50
  • @Jurik calm down. Such attitude won't bring you anywhere. Downvotes are integral part of Meta. Accept it or leave it, your choice. – ShaWiz Mar 5 '14 at 9:12
  • Those guys that down vote even didn't write why they down vote and so they do not help to improve this question. And how can you down vote a question that is about to improve stackoverflow? It just drives me mad that people just click and leave instead of really give something back to the community and help. @ShadowWizard this attitude made me feel a little bit better for a few minutes ;) - so did my edit of the question make it better and more clear? – Jurik Mar 5 '14 at 11:27
  • @Jurik actually no, I don't think the edit really made it more clear but also not worse. No harm done. As for downvotes, it's hard to understand but not impossible. In a very rough nutshell, it means other people disagree with something you said or proposed. In your case, people think those question should indeed be closed so they express their opinion by a downvote. You really should not take it so hard. – ShaWiz Mar 5 '14 at 11:32
  • @Jurik I am not in any way obliged to explain my downvote, other than to say that Shadow Wizard explains it well. – user246806 Mar 5 '14 at 19:59

About the first question:

It's hard to say what each closant had in mind while closing, but it seems to have been closed due to the title ("What's-the-best"-allergy). You should never close a question reading only the title.

The question has an answer which is based on reasonable assumptions. The question is answerable. Of course, SEO algorithms frequently change, but so do other technologies, such as browsers. Rapid changing of technology doesn't make the question "not constructive".

I think it was closed either by mistake or because closers weren't accustomed to SEO (that's what our review queue filters are for). I've voted to reopen and I've edited the title so that it doesn't trigger the "allergy".

However, SEO questions are generally a better fit for Webmasters.SE. Closing as "off-topic" would be more appropriate, but not as "not-constructive".

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    But are these really about a specific programming problem, a software algorithm or software tools commonly used by programmers? Wouldn't question like that fit Webmasters with their "Questions here are commonly about search engine optimization (SEO), domains, and web-hosting."? – Mołot Mar 4 '14 at 13:11
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    @JDB but what if author of this answer really meant "Raping"? :D – ShaWiz Mar 4 '14 at 14:45

This is not a programming question:

Which of the following URL structures will be better for SEO, and why

If you have a specific URL structure that you want help writing a .htaccess rule for, that's a programming-related SEO problem and it is on-topic. (You could drop the SEO tag though, since it's irrelevant to the problem being solved.)

Figuring out what kind of URL (or content) will bring the most traffic to your site is off-topic. It might be on-topic for Webmasters, but you'll have to check there.

  • Yeah, that's what I assumed - or thought that's only possible reason, that they should have posted it to Webmasters. But in most cases there is a programming-related background - and if not, the moderators that close this question should forward them to Webmasters. But just closing with non-sense reason is bad for stackoverflow. – Jurik Mar 4 '14 at 13:42
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    @Jurik The first question was already too old to migrate when I closed it, but I don't think that was a nonsense reason. Polling for the best SEO solution is very likely to solicit debate, arguments, or extended discussion. – Bill the Lizard Mar 4 '14 at 13:45
  • I started to read all the Google documents about url structure and there is no much room for debate about facts that you can read and quote into a good answer. My question here is to find a way to handle such questions in general. And I think your solution to migrate them to Webmasters is good. But then we need to let those guys that post such questions know about Webmasters and that there's the right place to post such a question. I just read his comment and thought - hell, this guy wants to know something and now feels lost - that's not what stackoverflow show do to new guys. – Jurik Mar 4 '14 at 14:44
  • @Jurik Both questions are several years old, and both were closed over a year after being asked. I see no indication of lost new users. – Servy Mar 4 '14 at 15:06
  • As I wrote above, I do not care about those two questions. I ask in general what to do with such questions - those two were just examples. In other words - what is the best practise? And as Bill said, migrate them to Webmasters is a good solution. – Jurik Mar 4 '14 at 15:15
  • And I still can't get it why this question gets down votes when it's obviously that moderators do not have a standard behaviour for such questions I am talking about. – Jurik Mar 5 '14 at 8:02
  • @Jurik We do have a standard behavior for the questions you're talking about. They're not programming questions and should be closed. – Bill the Lizard Mar 5 '14 at 12:00
  • @BilltheLizard yes and I agree - that's why I changed my question already. But there are many closing reasons and we should find one for such cases and forward the users that ask such SEO questions to Webmasters and help them with such forwarding instead of just telling them that it's off-topic. – Jurik Mar 5 '14 at 13:00

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