Google SEO Starter Guide Part II: URL Structure

Instead of cryptic numbers and codes, always include in the URL the words that best describe the content of the page. This not only attracts human users, but the search engines too! Consider the following example.

If you were interested in rare baseball cards, which one of the following URL's would you be more likely to click?

https://www.brandonsbaseballcards.com/folder1/1089257/x1/0000023a.htm

OR

https://www.brandonsbaseballcards.com/articles/ten-rarest-baseball-cards.htm

Obviously you'd pick option number two, which is precisely the point Google makes with this example in its SEO Starter Guide on the topic of URL structure.

Attracting Search Engines

If an online user searches “rarest baseball cards,” Google not only crawls for those terms in the title tag, meta tags and on-page text of your website, but also in the URL. So the better your URL reflects the content of your web page, the better your chances that Google will rank your site higher in the search engine listings.

In fact, using the wrong characters in a URL can prevent search engines from crawling your site at all. For instance, Google will stop dead it is tracks if it comes across a # symbol. That's why AJAX can be bad for SEO, as AJAX uses JavaScript which uses the # symbol in its URL's.

Attracting Visitors

Displayed in search engine listings underneath your web page's title and description is the URL. If the term searched by the user appears in this URL, Google will bold those words accordingly, which reinforces to the user that your web page contains content relative to what they're looking for.

Ideally, you want visitors to your website to be so impressed with your content that they want to link to it themselves. In some cases they may use the URL itself as the anchor text on the page. Just like you, their visitors will be more likely to click the link if it contains words referencing what they will find on your page.

Of course, there will be instances when online users will type a URL directly into their browser. Lengthy URL's filled with numbers and characters only increases the chances that they'll type it in wrong, get a “Not Found” message and give up before ever getting to your site. Words are so much easier to process and remember.

So when it comes to URL structure, always 1) opt for words over numbers or characters, 2) keep it relatively short and 3) make certain it's relevant to the content on the page.

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CyberMark
http://www.cybermark.com
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