Search engine optimization might seem simple, but it is a large field and involves many concepts of varying complexity. One of these concepts is URL structures. The structure of a URL should not be overlooked, and should be made as friendly as possible to search engines. Since they were first developed, search engines have changed a lot and have become immensely capable of handling technical problems. Still, when it comes to optimizing websites for them, it is always a safe bet to make things as simple for them as possible. Here are some of the best SEO practices for structuring URLs.
Before diving into the list, it is important to understand the various components that make up the typical URL. There is the hypertext transfer protocol, which are perhaps the most common application protocols. World Wide Web uses this protocol in order to show one’s website on the internet. Other application protocols include FTP and Telnet.
Domain name is the name with which one’s website will be recognized online by users. The domain name tells the server which website one intends to use. An example of a domain name is Google.com. Every domain name has a unique IP address.
Subdirectories are the same as system subfolders. It is important to use descriptive subdirectory names when looking to optimize one’s URL for search engines.
The file name is the actual address of the blog post or the page. There might be hundreds of file names in every directory.
To optimize one’s website, make the URL readable to humans. Search engines give a lot of importance to user engagement, and accessibility of and readability of one’s URLs is one of the determinant factors.
With multiple URLs doing the same thing, it might be necessary to canonicalize them. To do this, use either the 301 redirect or the rel=canonical. Although Google does not penalize websites for duplicate content unless it is done on an immensely large scale, duplicate content can sometimes affect the ranking of one’s website.
While dynamic parameters might seem fancy, they make it difficult for users to understand one’s URL. It might seem tedious but it is definitely worth the risk. In fact, if the website is based on WordPress, then this can be done by a single click. Changing the WordPress permalink settings to exclude dynamic parameters does the trick. Another category of words that are not necessary are the stop words. If the title has such words as a, the, for, but or of, it is not necessary to add them to the URL of the page. Shorter URLs are always better, and while they should not be excluded completely, it is not necessary to always include them if it means the URL going out of length.
Static URLs are preferred by the user and by extension the search engine algorithms. Nobody likes to see their URLs having such symbols as “=” “?” and “&.” Even search engines prefer URLs that are static and descriptive rather than dynamic. Uploading a Favicon and the use of Robots.txt might also be helpful.