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URL Architecture

URL architecture relates to the structure of a webpage’s URL and how it can impact a page’s performance in search. There are several elements to consider when creating a URL structure to ensure it is optimised for both search engines and users. These are covered within our Hangout Notes, along with recommendations and insights from Google.

Keep URLs Under 1,000 Characters in Length

John recommends making sure that URLs are under 1,000 characters in length so that they can be crawled and indexed.

23 Jul 2019

Google Will Read the URL String Contained After the Query Parameter

If you are using a ? query parameter, Google will read the remaining URL string and it is not something which blocks crawling or indexing. However, they will drop anything following a # parameter.

12 Jul 2019

Be Consistent in Trailing Slash Usage Across a Site

John recommends being as consistent as possible with the use of the trailing slash in the links across a site.

9 Jul 2019

There Are No SEO Benefits For Translated URLs

As long as Google is able to see unique URLs for each language, it is not a requirement for each word within the URL to be translated. While it can be positive for user experience, it doesn’t provide any SEO benefits.

28 May 2019

Focus on Internal Linking Rather Than URL Structure For Passing Signals

John recommends focusing more on how pages are connected within a website through site architecture and internal linking and how easy it is for Google to find and pass signals through them, rather than worrying about the URL structure.

3 May 2019

Use Query Parameters For Onsite Search

John recommends using a separate query parameter for on-site search as it’s a lot easier for Google to recognise as something that might vary. If there are additional parameters also added to the URL e.g. for pagination or filtering, utilising a query parameter makes it easier for Google to learn what the individual path parts are for as well as helping to optimize the crawling of these pages.

3 May 2019

Keywords in URLs are a Very Small Ranking Signal

The words featured in a URL are such a small ranking signal that John wouldn’t recommend reshaping a website to accommodate more descriptive URLs as it is unlikely this would significantly improve performance in search.

1 May 2019

Either Encoded or Written Out URLs Are Fine for Google

There isn’t a preference for encoded or written out URLs as Google is able to handle these both fine. John recommends using one style to ensure consistency for tracking changes.

27 Nov 2018

Don’t Use URLs That Change on the Fly

If URLs change on the fly to include session IDs, for example, this will cause Google to spend more resources on crawling duplicate content. This will also cause confusion around choosing the right canonical page.

27 Nov 2018

Use One URL for All Seasonal Content

John recommends using one URL to host all of your seasonal content, regardless of topic. For example, have Thanksgiving content on a page then replace that with Christmas content. This will accumulate link equity, making the page more important to Google.

16 Nov 2018

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