An extra 3 million pages should help drive traffic to the site, but the Guardian has chosen to use the Musicbrainz ID in the URL rather than the artist name.
While a selection of more popular artists such as Lily Allen have been given a search friendly URL such as http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/lilyallen
other artists such as my favourites Midnight Oil have the rather more unfriendly
As the site is already extracting the artists names from the Musicbrainz database to use in the H2 and title tag, it wouldn’t take much more effort to use this in the URL.
According to Googles Matt Cutts, keywords in URL’s‘ ’does help a little bit’. We know from experience that it is certainly one of the factors that Google takes into consideration.
The other thing they could do, is set the artist name to be a H1 tag rather than H2, as there is no H1 tag being used on the page
At Digital Nation, we’ve helping companies optimise websites for over 14 years, so why not contact to find out more