ameeck wrote:SEO isn't just about URL rewriting, it's actually about everything else but this. You can make descriptive URL's like that without using mod_rewrite, and even if you do, it does more or less affect better acessibility and overview for users.
I'm sorry, but I have to do this. The word is effect, meaning to cause.
Now that that is out of the way.
I've said this before, but I'll say it again. I agree to a certain extent about using techniques to make it easier for your users (which will usually result in making it easier for search engines), but if I cater to search engines first, my users will most likely not want to stay on my site for very long. And isn't that the ultimate goal of any website? To have visitors stay and return? I've been to sites that have 1 page on the entire site. It is long, bunch of highlighted text telling me how the product is this and that, then a bunch of poisoning keywords at the bottom of the page. I feel dirty after visiting those so-called SEO'ed sites. I don't want to return, nevermind buy whatever they are selling.They just lost a potential customer.
My take on it is don't concentrate on SEO, and instead build your site for your users. Sure, use friendly URLs if you want, but don't go overboard with them. I actually find it easier to remember a site that has a URI of article.php?aid=12345432 instead of article/this_is_some_really_long_page_title_that_annoys_me. I'm not saying I'll remember the exact page, but I'm more likely to remember the name of the site.