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Practical SEO 1 - URL

A URL is human readable text that was designed to replace the numbers (IP addresses) that computers use to communicate with servers. They also identify the file structure on the given website.

Talking about Google search, we need remember that URL is displayed as part of a search result in Google, below the document's title and snippet. Words in the URL on the search result also appear in bold if they are in the user's query. A good url could lead to better crawling of your documents by search engines. Also, it can create easier, "friendlier" URLs for those that want to link to your content.

As simple, meaningful and readable as possible.

Don't use unnecessary parameters and session IDs, using cookies instead. Don't use generic page names like "page1.html"; don't use irrelevant parameters, such as referral parameters; don't use excessive keywords like "baseball-cards-baseball-cards-baseballcards.htm".

Length of url.

No more than 3-5 words in the URL. According to Google's Matt Cutts if there are more than 5 words, Google algorithms typically will just weight those words less and just not give you as much credit. Short URLs get clicked more than long ones. They will also help in direct type-ins of URLs

Separate words using dashes (-)

Although Google has no individual preferences (meaning that we won't be penalizes for either of the versions), dashes are more preferable as Google "sees" each hyphened word as an individual one.

url is case sensitive

Lower-case letters in url is what most users expect and easy to remember. Unlike a domain name, URL is case sensitive. If, in a website, we have both lower case version and upper case version for some urls, we might get a few issues: people are most likely to link to the standard lower case one and we might both lose link juice and suffer from duplicate content issues.

One version of url to reach a document

Always create one url to get one document. If we do find that people are accessing the same content through multiple URLs, try to set up a 301 redirect from non-preferred URLs to the dominant URL.