A Guide to Search Engine Friendly URL Structure

by Kaushal Gandhi on August 17, 2011 · 19 comments

A Guide to Search Engine Friendly URL Structure

URLs play an important role in determining your search engine rank. Rather than being left for the later stages, URL structuring should be given special importance in the early stages of website development. This saves you’re the hassles of reworking on your URL once the site is already up and running. But, for those who’ve come in late, remember restructuring the site is not an impossible task either. Here are some vital tips to optimize your URL.

Simplicity and Positioning matters: Words closer to the domain receive more weight age by Google’s crawlers. Use short and relevant keywords and avoid symbols, for increased search engine compatibility. Shorter URLs are accessed more often, so place your keywords in the first five spots. Preferably use keywords in the filename position, instead of subdirectories.

Avoid keyword stuffing: Rather than cramming up every known keyword in your URL, stick to the top 3-4. Overuse of keywords negatively affects search engine results. Moreover, they run the risk of being identified as spam.

Be consistent: Try not to constantly change your URL so that your search engine is able locate previously indexed pages. If you do, ensure that the old URL is directed to the new URL so that your PageRank gets transferred by the search engines, without affecting your site.

Hyphenate to separate: Hyphenated keywords are reader-friendly for man and search engine. It helps understand the structure of your URL as well as the different keywords used there-in.

Reduce directory depth: Some search engines attribute most importance to pages closest to the domain and overlook directories with bigger depths. Try and limit your content to around the 2nd—3rd sub folder level in the URL, using hyphens to separate keywords.

Avoid multiple URLs:  To maximize traffic, some opt for multiple URLs for the same web page. This increases your risk of being viewed as duplicate.  Counter this issue by creating a permanent 301 redirect, which then directs the URL of your home page to the preferred domain.

Don’t let the I.D. affect your site: Every URL is viewed by the spider as a unique page and the unique session I.D.  of a URL gets reported as a duplicate page for which it’s given zero importance by search engines.  Additionally, everyone linking to your page will be linking to a different URL, which ultimately will downgrade your page rank.

SEO and your website go hand in hand; and the important role that URL plays is evident from the points cited above. Simply put, all your investment and energies in content generation will be in vain if a carelessly structured URL impedes your ranking. A final word of advice – retain uniformity in your URL structure throughout the site.

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sam August 18, 2011 at 5:42 am

Great option to use for increase the rank on search engine specially on Google and this is the true thing we should not use different kinds of keywords which are not match with URLs.

One more thing mentioned in this post very important from my point of view we shouldn’t use multiple URLs: because they can create some problem for us in online marketing.
sam @ goa carnival´s last blog post ..Goa Carnival Date 2011 (5th to 8th March)

James H August 18, 2011 at 6:09 am

Kaushal, I was reading somewhere that daily 200k domains are booked! how can we get the so called perfect & SEO friendly domains? in later stages we will have to manage with adding prefixes, suffixes, hyphens, dots etc.. would you still be calling them SEO friendly?
James H´s last blog post ..Young Driver Insurance

Jasmine August 18, 2011 at 9:45 am

Great tips, Sam. SEO friendly URL is definitely ultra important to rank well in search engines. Most of my websites are using WordPress, so that really helps with their SEO friendly permalinks.
Jasmine@Top Web Hosts´s last blog post ..Safe Hosting with iPage Anytime Money-Back Guarantee

Mat August 18, 2011 at 11:38 am

Excellent tips and one must avoid keyword stuffing. SEO friendly structure will help in improving SERP and at the same time good user friendly contents will increase readership.
Mat@Carports Kits´s last blog post ..Carolina Carports – An Affordable Solution for your Garage

Fabrizio Van Marciano August 18, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Very good tips. I always make a note to make URL’s as SEO friendly as possible. The great thing with WP is that you can edit the permalinks so to optimize them more effectively for the search engines, thanks for sharing.
Fabrizio Van Marciano´s last blog post ..3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use bit.ly URL Shortening for your Affiliate Links!

Swayam Das August 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Avoiding Keyword stuffing is the main problem with many website. All they want is to win over Google with their spammy keywords :P
Swayam Das@SEO Tech Marketing´s last blog post ..Google to buy Motorola Mobility

WordPress Hosting August 18, 2011 at 9:19 pm

This is so true and I can’t agree more with you
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Online Marketing August 18, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Very useful tips but in my opinion the most important factor of good rankings is off site seo (link building) but of course it’s better to have on page seo too, thanks for sharing
Online Marketing´s last blog post ..Website E-marketing 101

Thiru August 19, 2011 at 6:46 am

Really informative post, keyword stuffing on url will make it tough to remember by users too.. Thanks for the nice post.
Thiru´s last blog post ..HTML Colors – Coloring App for Web Designers

Shower Valves August 19, 2011 at 7:53 am

Awesome and very much important tips Kaushal.

Thanks a lot for this. Most I like it last one.

Ron August 19, 2011 at 9:39 am

Staying away from Search term stuffing may be the problem with a lot of internet site. All they desire is always to conquer Yahoo using their spammy keywords
Ron@How to Reduce Man Boobs Through Daily Habit´s last blog post ..How to Reduce Man Boobs Through Daily Habit

Swayam Das August 22, 2011 at 4:29 am

Not only Yahoo! They target *Google* more!
Swayam Das@SEO Tech Marketing´s last blog post ..Top 10 Tips for Social Media Security

Alicia August 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Good article, Kaushal! Now I have a much better understand on how to have search engine friendly URLs. Thanks.
Alicia@Best WordPress Themes´s last blog post ..Feather – Elegant Themes Review

NIKKI August 21, 2011 at 2:32 pm

it becomes very important to have a structured URL for your blog. As a part of SEO , you have to have it better. It also shows up in the search results of any search engine, so its gonna be clear.
NIKKI´s last blog post ..FREE Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 Download With 60 Days Activation Code

Swayam Das August 22, 2011 at 4:26 am

Is it really easy to create effective seo url structure in wordpress through plug-ins ?
Swayam Das@SEO Tech Marketing´s last blog post ..Top 10 Tips for Social Media Security

kavyaHari August 22, 2011 at 7:33 am

Have to stuff limited keywords at the time. Thanks a lot for given up here :)

saud September 5, 2011 at 5:08 pm

You should have discussed about bad permalinks and good permalinks it would have mode your article more helpful.

Alicia September 11, 2011 at 4:08 pm

This is a great guide on search engine friendly URLs. I am sure these URLs will get indexed much faster by search engines, right?

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