Are Shorter URLs Better for SEO?

url

Are shorter URLs better for SEO? Well, there’s a contradiction here. Some say yes (so called experts) and others say no (Google). While there is some URL structure that Google recommends, it does not mention the length.

What does Google say about URL length?

URL length doesn’t matter for SEO, based on what John Mueller said.

“The direct answer is no. The URL length doesn’t matter. We use URLs as identifiers, it doesn’t matter how long they are. Personally, I try to keep them shorter than 1,000 characters, but that’s just to make monitoring easier. The number of slashes in there also doesn’t matter.”

Google Search Central

He also mentions via Twitter:

So why do some people suggest shorter URL is better?

Not only do shorter URLs rank better in search results, but they can also boost brand awareness, increase engagement, and drive traffic to you.

To prove this, Backlinko performed some extensive testing on one million Google search results and found that shorter URLs tend to rank better than long URLs.

backlinko study

Google Search Central – SEO Fundamentals

So who is actually correct? Well, let’s look at what Google Search Central said about best practices in regard to URLs. They noted that a simple URL conveys content information.

They also provide good practices so it can help their bots crawl and understand their content better:

Search engines like Google are getting better at recognizing and understanding the meaning of words in a URL. This can be good or bad for your website, depending on how you choose to set up your site.

Search engines may be getting smarter about parsing out meaning from a URL, but they’re not there yet. To help them understand the content of your site, it’s always a good idea to keep your URLs as short as possible and include some keyword phrases.

A page’s rating may be lowered by item numbers, secret codes, and other jargon-filled URLs like:

 /clothes/men/shirt/size/large.html 

Is easier to understand what the link is about versus:

/men/ABBX49384/LG-24829204/page.html

Simple URLs are more likely to be clicked than ones that require a lot of explanation. Because it contains anchor text, a URL with obvious keywords in it that is offered as a link on a homepage may give a little SEO boost. 

A shorter, more readable URL will have a greater click-through rate and a lower bounce rate, which are significant SEO advantages. User experience is essential and impacts SEO more significantly than you might think. 

How do URLs affect SEO?

To keep your website more organized and to aid in a search engine’s better crawling, Google advises using descriptive categories and filenames. 

Additionally, this can produce simpler or friendlier URLs for those who want to link to your material. 

Consumers and search engines will learn more about the website from the URL than they would from a parameter with an odd name. 

When you look at most of the results these searches produce, you’ll see that their URL structures frequently contain pertinent keywords. However, it’s not that easy. Here are some pointers for making URLs that are search engine friendly. 

URL structure best practices

The URL structure of a website should be as simple as possible in order to make it easy for users to navigate and for search engines to index the site. Content should be organized in a logical manner so that URLs are constructed accordingly.

It is also important to standardize URLs by using lowercase letters and removing any extra words. Shorter URLs are generally preferable, as they are easier to remember and share. Ultimately, keeping URLs as simple, relevant, and accurate as possible is key to ensuring both users and search engines can access and use the site effectively.

Here’s a few more tips on how to create the best shortest URL:

Keep your URL length short

Long URLs are bad for social sharing. While users can use sites like TinyURL or Bit.ly to reduce long links to a character count that won’t fill up their tweets, most people are wary to click on links that don’t identify where they’re going to lead them out of concern that they might be harmful links or spam. 

Making a helpful URL concise entails a variety of considerations. Are your folders adequately labeled and organized? Did you choose a precise page title that matches the information on the page? Can a potential visitor quickly find what they need from the URL? Once you start researching the topic in depth, most of it is common sense. 

Make it readable

Given that Google has rewarded user-friendly websites, this could be expected. Making your URL simpler to read would benefit both humans and search engines. 

Overall, your URL doesn’t have to be flawless, but it should at least be simple to comprehend and intriguing enough to entice visitors to click on it. 

Well use keywords

According to research, individuals choose the websites they click on based on how relevant the URL’s keywords are. When your site best meets their demand, including relevant keywords increases the likelihood that they’ll select it from the competition. They will understand more about what your link offers whether they come across it via may inspire enough interest and trust for them to click. 

When your link is not accompanied by anchor text on a website, the URL alone serves as the anchor text. A clear, keyword-focused URL can increase traffic to your website by promoting click-throughs and improving search engine rankings.

Avoid pointless duplication

You risk dividing your signal and lowering your potential visitors if two URLs serve the same information.

If the secondary page has minimal independent value, a 301 redirect, or the rel=canonical tag can be used to quickly fix the issue (great if the second page has a use, like a printer-friendly option for the original content). This increases the likelihood of visitors to your site by directing all search engine traffic to the first page. 

Don’t stuff URLs with cliched keywords, either. You do no favors regarding search result rankings by preventing some users from clicking on your link. 

Use hyphens instead of underscores

Let’s start with Google’s request that hyphens (-) rather than underscores (_) be used to separate website keywords. It is simpler for their site crawler analytics to analyze pertinent data and generate reliable findings when hyphens are used. The less like nonsense your URL is, the more likely it is that it will improve your search engine ranking. 

Get rid of excess words

Stop words such as and, or, but, the, etc., are unnecessary for a URL. They may not necessarily harm you, but occasionally they can make a URL challenging to navigate. Ensure you act morally. It’s worth leaving a stop word in if deleting it will confuse the topic unless doing so will make your link too long. 

Conclusion

URL structure is essential. Good URL structure is a crucial SEO technique that is sometimes disregarded. However, it is critical to your online success and can greatly impact how well your website ranks across all search engines.

Following a proper URL structure for SEO can increase the visibility of your website and bring in more visitors. Keep in mind that you should use the best keywords to build shorter URLs that express the content of your sites.

© Copyright Linkilo.co 2022. A Product by  SEO RANK SERP LLC | Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions