SEO friendly URL plays an important role in promoting your content. URL or the Uniform Resource Locator is a string that points to an Internet resource. Confusing and unfriendly URL structure may require optimization to get better SEO results. These URLs will also fail to convey the content information to users as well as search engine spiders.
Some websites follow URL structure with unique id and page numbers. Sometimes it may contain query strings also. Compared to those, URLs with simple relevant words will results in better crawling of the content by search engines. URL that contains relevant keywords helps users and search engines to find quick information about the page than an ID or a number. If you examine the Google search results, you can see the words in the URL on the search result appear in bold if they appear in the user’s query. For example the search term “Google Top Searches Today” will show the following results. You can see the URL words in bold which are part of the query.
If you are using WordPress platform, we have had a discussion on SEO and Performance Factors of Permalinks in WordPress. Let us discuss few important points to be considered while structuring your URLs for better SEO results and SER ranks.
URL length and optimal use of keywords
According to Matt Cutts “If you have got a three, four or five words in your URL that can be perfectly normal. As it gets a little longer, then it starts to look a little worse. Now, our algorithms typically will just weight those words less and just not give you as much credit”.
That indicates that URL with 3-5 words is an ideal choice for SEO friendly and search engine friendly content. The more the (key) words stuffed in URL the more it looks spam.
URL parameters, generic names and keyword density
Avoid using extra parameters like session ids etc as part of the URL. That doesn’t help your SEO results any way.
Avoid choosing too generic names for the URLS. For example if you name your content url is like “article1.html” or “page1.html” or “/page1/” then you are far from URL SEO best practices.
Avoid repeating words in URL. Repetition of same word in a URL with different combination is an indication of keyword spamming or keyword stuffing.
Use 301 redirector or rel=”canonical”
You need to make sure that only one version of a URL is exposed to reach a document. If you have multiple URLs to reach same document you should either use a 301 redirect or rel=”canonical” link element.
This will resolve the issue of duplicate content.
Use lower case URL string
Domain name is not case sensitive but URL is case sensitive and depends of the server platform. This could result in duplicate content served and will eventually end up in duplicate content issue. Also many users expect lower-case URLs and remember them better. You can make the directories and files lower-case by default. This will ensure that always one version of the content will be served.
Never use file extensions like “exe”
This is bit dangerous and should be avoided. Your content may get penalized for using these types of file extensions.
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