The Importance of Keywords In The URL
How Important Are Keywords In The URL For Search Engine Rankings?
- What really is the importance of a web page's URL structure in relation to overall SEO ranking in the search engines? I have been told you need to have the keyword in your URL to rank well. Then I hear from others that it really doesn't make or break your search engine rankings either way. What's the real skinny on this topic?
Answer: Just to clarify, when we speak of placing keywords in your URLs, we're talking about the entire URL string, not just the domain name. So your domain name might be yoursite.com and a webpage's full URL page might be: http://www.yoursite.com/keyword1/keyword2/keyword3.html.
Having your keywords in the URL does make a difference and typically leads to noticeable SEO benefits even though it is entirely possible to rank well without having the keyword there. Thus, some will say "it's not a critically important ranking factor" and in general, they are correct.
However, we have found that the relevancy boost, albeit ever-so-slight, is worthwhile because every little bit helps. Perhaps even more important, however, is that it increases the odds that someone will click your listing in the search results. This human aspect of URL optimization is very important. A keyword in your URL tends to help potential site visitors predict where your link might lead them and hints in advance of clicking the link as to whether this is a relevant search result.
Another important consideration for URL structure is the fact that using multiple parameters and dynamic elements in a URL can confuse both users and search engine spiders. We've covered dynamic URLs extensively in our report Getting Your Dynamic Sites Completely Indexed. Realize that URL structures containing parameters like & and ? can cause problems getting your entire site indexed, especially if you use them excessively.
Also bear in mind that searchers have problems remembering longer, dynamic URLS for later use. That's one reason why short, static URLS are mor...