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How To Structure URLs in 2016

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by Xpock, Jul 30, 2016.

  1. Xpock

    Xpock Junior Member

    Oct 28, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Hello reader, lets get something straight: powerful URLs are obvious URLs.

    I won't waste your time with unnecessary introduction, so, steps below:

    Use Short URLs
    Despiting the fact there's no search engine rule for it, have in mind: the shorter is the URL, the easier it is to be remembered, to be shared, to be passed on.

    Simple assimiliation matter.

    Be Aware of URL Parameters
    In some cases, your CMS needs to include parameters in order to execute filters, searches or information sorting. It's very common, but, at the same time it increases the chances of duplicated content ocurrence.

    Remove Sessions IDs
    Sessions IDs in URLs like yoursite.com/sessid=jU8kAl1m, usually are created to mark users, conducting search engines to generate duplicated content when the same user revisits your website.

    So, if your CMS (or code) create those sessions variables, I highly recommend you to mark your user with Cookies, and not with a URL-placed Session ID.

    Better Words Than Numbers!
    Words describe your content better than numbers, thus, when creating directories or titles, avoid p851/arc139/... or /?p=851, once /news/sports/ would be really more informative, containing the main terms of your page.

    Most people have doubts about the quantity of directories in one URL. So, you can relax, it won't be influencing in your ranking. Something that really influences is the depth needed to find your page, which is related to your website architecture, not directories quantity.

    Long Tail URLs
    If you are willing to use a Long Tail, there are two ways to separate words, hyphen (-) and underline (_), but, as recommended by Matt Cutts (Google's Engineer), hyphen is the prefered one.

    Canonical URL
    Nowadays, one of the biggest problems within URLs is the content duplication - as I'd mentioned before. The point here is to reinforce you need to know if the addition of parameters changes or not your content, and, if the canonical tag is being used.

    A simple test is to verify a URL, adding false parameters:
    1. www.yoursite.com/directory/original-content
    2. www.yoursite.com/directory/original-content?test

    If your website opens exactly the same content doing the test above you will need to verify if the canonical tag exists on it to prevent duplicated content.

    Use 301 Redirect when Changing URLs
    Avoid have to change your URL structure, mainly if it is long dated. However, in cases of extremely need, you must use 301 redirect sending to the new URL, minimizing changes effects.

    A URL structuring job starts at the website's architeture creation moment, greasing the wheels of your development team, and helping your project partners to understand which page talks about what.

    - Sorry for my bad english, I'm not a native speaker.
    - I hope I have helped you.
    - If you disagree with something I wrote here, please reply advising me.

    Best Regards,
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
  2. vivek.verma

    vivek.verma Junior Member

    Jul 16, 2012
    Likes Received:
    wow thanks :) I found this quite informative.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1