Understanding Search engine optimization Friendly URL Syntax Practices. SEO Friendly URL SyntaxPoor URL structure is a frequent SEO issue, one that can impair rankings, keep pages out of the search engine indexes, and suck ranking authority from your other pages or maybe the entire websites. Some content management systems bake poor URL structures right into their websites. Lax rules can be a culprit, as an example, not encoding spaces or special characters.
Meanwhile, some CMS platforms devise URLs using illegal characters that should not show up in addresses. Others generate multiple URLs for pages, creating duplicate content. Even though it is true that search engine listings head to great lengths to read and index even the worst URLs, attention to URL management and optimization will give you both SEO and usability advantages.
Good URL Structure. A few years ago, Dr. Peter J. Meyers come up with a cheat sheet on the anatomy of the URL. It’s a good one to maintain handy. You can easily read and understand. Basically If I saw this address pasted right into a blog or forum, I might likely click on it. It really is SEO optimized with breadcrumb style keywords. Search engines look for keywords in URLs; it’s a known ranking factor. This layout, going from general to specific, is ideal for enterprise SEO.
The URL includes its own anchor-text. If the address were pasted into a blog or any other website as being a link, that link would possess well-optimized anchor-text. Old style dynamic addresses are legal and acceptable, though they have drawbacks.
They are usually longer and hard to read because they contain both parameter names plus values. Pairing parameter names with values adds extra words. This could dilute the SEO value produced from keywords inside the URLs. This type of address could have information better transmitted outside of the URL. An individual ID, session ID, sort code, print code and lots of other possible parameters could create duplicate content, security or other issues.
Diagnosing URL Issues – To find URL based issues:
Search for errors and warnings then see whether URLs are definitely the culprit. Audit all URLs for proper syntax. To examine for errors, begin with Google and Bing webmaster tool reports. Look for duplicate content then examine the webpage addresses themselves along with their locations. Numerous third-party SEO tools can locate SEO issues as well. Canonical issues, parameters that do not change page content, loose adherence to coding standards, or a variety of reasons can create duplicate content.
I worked with a newspaper that used unique numerical identifiers, away from parameters, to serve articles as webpages. It did not matter exactly what the URL contained, so long as the identifier was somewhere inside the address. Unfortunately, the writing of link hooks into templates was inconsistent, resulting in a multitude of duplicate content pages. We had to pour through each template, rewrite each link hook as being an SEO friendly URL, then catalog all of the legacy URLs and 301-redirect these to the new optimized addresses.
When auditing URL syntax, I like to export every webpage address in to a spreadsheet or database. If you’re thinking of using Google site: queries, don’t bother as lots of the issues you may look for usually do not show up in search engine rankings. Each character has a specific use. If they appear, determine if they are used properly, should be encoded, or maybe the URL needs reconfiguration.
Unsafe Characters – Unsafe URL Characters. Encode unsafe characters unless utilized for a particular purpose. The % symbol does not require encoding when employed to encode a character. The # symbol does not require encoding when qngvsy to produce an anchor tag.
Miscellaneous Characters – Miscellaneous URL Characters. Strictly speaking, these characters tend not to require encoding. In reality, many CMS platforms will encode these automatically. If you want links that have these characters to keep consistent when shared from web site to website, it’s a secure bet to encode these.
Search For The Pound Symbol, # – Search engines overlook the # and everything after it in a URL. If using the #, ensure that the webpage appears as you wish it crawled and indexed when the # and anything that follows is taken away. When the # changes content you want indexed, you will have to look for a different URL structure. As an example,