• https://twitter.com/olegko Oleg Korneitchouk

    Most comprehensive post on dynamic v static urls. Thanks for writing it up.

    One point on underscores, search engines aren’t that confused by them anymore. If you currently underscores instead of dashes, it probably not worth your time and rankings to switch over to dashes. However, if you are starting fresh, always choose dashes over underscores. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQcSFsQyct8

  • Deboti Chowdhury

    These information is going to help me a lot with my work.

  • ScottyMack

    If given the option of having a URL as:

    mysite.com/product
    -OR-
    mysite.com/category/product

    which are you recommending?

  • http://twitter.com/keshabraj Keshab Raj Adhikari

    I think you mix little for _ and -
    It should be like this..

    So, in practical terms, while hello-dolly is hello and dolly (2 different keywords)
    hello_dolly is hello dolly. ( a single keyword)

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    “Mixed case URLs can be a source of duplicate content.”

    I actually just found this issue on a client’s site. I was digging through their analytics and noticed that a lot of pages show a pretty significant drop in traffic at the same time, but their overall traffic was going up. How could that happen? Turns out a bunch of pages had been created with uppercase letters in the URL (older pages were all lowercase) so it was being recognized as a new page. The traffic was getting split between the two pages!

  • http://twitter.com/forestsoftware John Mitchell

    @Oleg, the Google webmaster guidelines at http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=76329 says “We recommend that you use hyphens (-) instead of underscores (_) in your URLs.” and something that makes me wince everytime is when I see people that don’t follow “The URL http://www.example.com/green-dress.html is much more useful to us than http://www.example.com/greendress.html. ” (on the same page).

  • http://twitter.com/sharithurow sharithurow

    The shortest URL that communicates unique aboutness is what users/searchers prefer. And URLs are labels. I would suggest working with an information architect to come up with a clean, consistent labeling system.

  • ScottyMack

    I don’t really need a “information architect.” Any decent shopping cart platform allows you to set up a consistent experience throughout. I was merely asking in terms of SEO benefit whether having product URLs with the category directory in front of their URL would provide any SEO benefit versus leaving the product without the category in the URL.

    I think SEO’s are the only people on the planet who really look at URL’s, so looking at it from a “user’s experience” is worthy of more than an eye roll. The vast majority of the end customers I speak with have no clue what a URL is. Heck they can’t even find the address bar!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kennyfbrmuscleboy Kenny Fabre

    tom

    pretty comprehensive lesson, I got to learn some new symbols I could use to this for the seo friendly urls

    http://www.kfm24.com

  • http://twitter.com/Jehochman Jonathan Hochman

    Thank you for the article and the good advice. The name of the features to ask for when buying or adding plugins to a CMS are “clean urls” and “permalinks”. “Clean” means urls with no parameters and no file extensions. This makes urls portable from one CMS to another so you don’t need to change them when you upgrade Administrator editable permalinks allow setting an optimized url, and make it easy to retain the same url.

  • ScottyMack

    I’m sorry if you took my comment the wrong way. I’m sure URL’s are very important to you. I was reacting to the statement that they are what “users/searchers prefer.” I would bet that not even one out of a hundred people could tell you the URL of something they clicked on ten seconds after they did it, regardless of how perfectly constructed and concise the URL was. The end user is looking for information and paying attention to little else. If they remember the main domain name it is a major victory.

    My question was asked from an SEO perspective to see if there were opinions about whether including the category in the URL would have a benefit in your search rankings for either that category keyword or for the product due to LSI.

    I’m quite sure that you have seen your share of nightmare URLs from poorly made shopping carts. Until a few years ago, you had to do some serious programming on your own to get a user-friendly URL. Now, all of the top carts allow you to create your own URL’s and really good ones (BigCommerce comes to mind, for instance) allow you to tweak a general store setting that formats ALL page URL’s throughout the website in a consistent manner, much like you can do with WordPress.

  • http://www.kaushalam.com/search-engine-optimization.html Kaushalam

    URL is first things to start making entire website SEO friendly. Optimizing it properly will help all pages to be crawled and easily indexed by Google. Many times, having all the areas good enough but not having a simple and static url cause search engine bot to not spider the pages.

  • http://www.inkjam.org/ Sandipan

    Do these tips apply to both Bing and Google?

  • infatex

    Nice tips, thanks for the suggestion.