URLs are an important factor in SEO, but many websites fall short when it comes to optimizing them for search engines.
This post will explain all the variables that can affect your site’s searchability as a result of a poor URL.
No Special Characters: Processing issues can arise when a URL contains special characters or Unicode other than numerals, English alphabets, and hyphens. Because an emoji can be used in many different contexts and cannot be typed from a keyboard, a URL containing one may not appear in search engine results. Any other character which has no textual sense but is used to just decorate a post title, like
)should be avoided. Characters like
&, ` `(space) can cause issues to interpret a URL.
Don’t change it: We improve post contents multiple times to make them updated with the latest information or to correct errors. It may lead to a change in the post title hence the URL. If a post URL is very specific, it is a higher chance to get modified in the future. For instance, if you write about “Top 3 Sites for Typography” and found a more after few months then you may want to update the same article than write a new one. The title may change to “Top 4 sites for Typography”.
URLs can be bookmarked in browsers, cached by search engines, and referred by other sites. Sometimes you even share it on social media platforms. If the URL gets changed, it’ll result in broken links.
All hates long URL: Whether it is a search engine or a social media platform, all shorten the long URLs. Either they are replaced with another URL with some random string or cut some part to make them unreadable.
Dates can make your post old: Once you publish an article with the date in URLs, you don’t change the publish date when you update the content. Otherwise, any change in the URL will result in broken links. Many of us used to search for the latest content. So the URLs with older dates are automatically filtered out even if they’re recently updated.
- Post URL ≠ Post Title: An attractive post title may increase traffic to the site. But a post URL is just a link referred by search engines and other sites. It should be short with necessary SEO friendly keywords without page extensions or propositions.
- Hierarchy: It’s difficult to manage if all the posts are stored in the top folder of a blog, especially for static sites. On the other hand, it is also not a good practice if they’re deeply nested.
You can control it by setting paramlink in jekyll, wordpress, or other frameworks.
- Spam Words: URLs having keywords related to money, deals, freebies, and offers Or the URL who are creating urgency or pressure, are generally considered spam. Many search engines filter out such URLs.
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