URL Structure and SEO


URL Structure and SEO for your learning enjoyment.  In 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin – do those names ring a bell? – invented Google, one of the world’s first search engines. Back in these days, individuals and businesses could gain results on the front page of Google, Yahoo, AskJeeves, and other search engines by using long-outdated black hat search engine optimization strategies, those that attempted to gain high results without their websites’ content actually appealing to Internet users. A few of the first uses of black hat SEO include keyword spamming, using hidden text to boost results without deterring readers, and link swapping.

With more than 6.5 billion online searches around the world each and every day, more than 200 legitimate variables weighed by Google’s search algorithm, and 33% of Internet searches resulting in browsers clicking on the number-one result, how to structure URLs.

Fortunately for you, whether you’re a search engine guru or green thumb, URLs and SEO go hand in hand. Let’s dig into the best practices for how to structure URLs, synergizing and how to check URL structure once finished for diagnosing needs for revisions.


First and foremost, understand the names for URL segments

In order to have a fighting chance at securing listings on the front page – if not the #1 slot – you must first understand the anatomy of a Uniform Resource Locator (URL), far before learning how to structure URLs.

Let’s take the fictional URL of https://computer.website.com/SEO/Top-10/strategies-for-business-owners, for example.

website.com consists of the domain, or “website,” and the top-level domain, or “.com.” Every website’s domain name should be concise and easy to remember. If domain names are too long, search engines are less likely to rank them higher than webpages with shorter domains. Further, domain names should either include or be directly related to search terms that Internet users look up, which also boosts SEO performance. Top-level domains should always be either “.com,” “.org,” or “.edu,” for businesses, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions, respectively. Websites without these top-level domains are significantly less likely to perform well on searches.


URL Structure - SEO Friendly

Courtesy MOZ


https:// is the protocol. “Http” stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol, which describes how websites are compiled, with the other common protocol being “html,” although it’s rarely used. Although many websites could sneak by with using “http” in the past, most modern sites use “https,” an end-to-end encrypted version of its four-letter counterparts “http.” “Https” websites inherently garner higher rankings than simple “http” sites, as Google and other search engines heavily value user experience, which is obviously boosted by the feeling and reality of encrypted connections.

computer is the subdomain. There are two types of subdomains, called “www domains” and “non-www domains.” The former www-bearing domain, if applied to the fictional URL above, would look like https://www.website.com. Using the latter Uniform Resource Locator often results in its websites to not be identified as one in the same, rather creating two lesser-performing websites than congealing together for a spot on the front page, if not above the fold. URL Structure.

The last part of the URL above is: SEO/Top-10/strategies-for-business-owners, each of the last three portions narrowing down the website’s content. These three folders that all contain words that make sense when spoken aloud, as SEO URL and titles tend to perform much better when they contain nothing but words recognized in the dictionary that also make sense in context with one another.It may come as a surprise to some, but even SEO keywords should utilize good grammar, all the time.


Tips for using the components of URLs

Every organization’s SEO URL and titles that show up in search listings are a direct result of how frequently terms and phrases that are often searched for on popular engines rest in the folders, pages, and anchors.

One of Google’s more-heavily weighed variables of recent years is the length – rather, the briefness – of individuals’ and businesses Uniform Resource Locators (remember, that’s the URL, or web address).

URLs and SEO performance depend largely on the readability of URLs. These web addresses can be short or long, and usually include no more than two keywords for every three folders.

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URL Structure – SEO Friendly?

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