I have the following format for the URLs in my Google site map:
Recently, to help with SEO, I decided to make the URL contain the title of the testimonial:
Through the use of mod_rewrite and a redirect page, any user who clicks on the old URL format will arrive at the new URL format. Here is my rule:
RewriteRule ^essential-oils/([0-9]+)$ login.php?tID=$1 [L]
The login.php looks to see if there is a tID being passed and, if so, looks up the name of the testimonial in the database. It then uses a meta refresh to get the user to the intended destination with the title in the URL, like this:
Everything works great. Before I change the URL format in my google sitemap, I wanted to check with the experts here to make sure that is a wise thing to do. Matt Cutts has said before that Google is fine with a few hops or redirects, and I don't think I'm doing too many. Maybe in addition to changing the format in the sitemap I should also apply a 301 redirect in my rewriteRule? Any advice would be appreciated.