A optimised URL has benefits for both humans and search engines, providing an easy-to-understand indication of what the destination page is all about. For example, the BoodleBobs preview URL below is what called a “semantically accurate” URL (which accurately describes its destination):
Even if the title tag of this page was hidden, the human-readable, (semantically accurate URL) would still indicate a good idea of what the destination page is all about, providing visitors with an improved Google experience by indicating what they will see when the link is clicked.
URLs contain ranking points which search engines use when determining a page’s relevance to a search query. Keyword use in a URL has benefits since they increase relevancy and contribute to the final ranking factor.
Well-written URLs can serve as their own descriptive anchor text when copied and pasted as links in forums, blogs, social media networks, or other online venues.
Check this out, www.boodlebobs.com/books/short-story-bedtime/bedtime-stories/eva
Check this out, www.boodlebobs.com/node/173
* Both URL’s are representative of the same content. Which one would you click?
The benefit of a well-formed URL’s are twofold:
Some websites (like Facebook, twitter), are likley to leave shared links completely unformatted. Unoptimised, semantically inaccurate URLs look unwieldy. Furthermore instead of getting clicks they actually deter them.
Inserting a keyword in to the URL path adds to a pages relevancy, increasing the ranking score.
SEO best practices for URLs
Keeping URLs as simple, relevant, compelling, and accurate as possible is key to getting both your users and search engines to understand them (a prerequisite to ranking well). It is best practice is to use words that people can comprehend.
URLs should be definitive and concise. By seeing only the URL, a user (and search engine!) should have a good idea of the page content.
Use hyphens to separate words. URLs should not use underscores, spaces, or any other characters to separate words.
Allways use lowercase letters. In some cases, uppercase letters can cause issues with duplicate pages.
Avoid the use of URL parameters, if possible, as they can create issues with tracking and duplicate content.
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URLs are a ranking factor search engines use when determining a particular page or resource's relevance to a search query. For users they describe what the content is about and increase the likely hood of clicks.
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