Understanding SEO Friendly URL Syntax Practices. SEO Friendly URL SyntaxPoor URL structure is a frequent Search engine optimization issue, one that will impair rankings, keep pages out of the search engine indexes, and suck ranking authority from your other pages or perhaps the entire websites. Some content management system bake poor URL structures directly into their websites. Lax rules can be a culprit, for example, not encoding spaces or special characters.
Meanwhile, some CMS platforms devise URLs using illegal characters which should not can be found in addresses. Others generate multiple URLs for pages, creating duplicate content. Even though it is correct that search engine listings go to great lengths to read through and index including 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 any URL. It’s a high quality one to keep handy. You can easily read and understand. If I saw this address pasted in to a blog or forum, I would likely simply click it. It really is SEO optimized with breadcrumb style keywords. Search engines like google try to find keywords in URLs; it’s a known ranking factor. This layout, going from general to specific, is perfect for enterprise SEO.
The URL includes their own anchor-text. If the address were pasted right into a blog or other website being a link, that link would possess well-optimized key phrases. Old style dynamic addresses are legal and acceptable, though they have got drawbacks.
They tend to be longer and difficult to see 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 within the URLs. This type of address could have information better transmitted away from the URL. A user ID, session ID, sort code, print code and several other possible parameters could create duplicate content, security or other issues.
Diagnosing URL Issues – To locate URL based issues:
Look for errors and warnings then determine if URLs are definitely the culprit. Audit all URLs for proper syntax. To check on for errors, start with Google and Bing webmaster tool reports. Look for duplicate content then examine the webpage addresses themselves and 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 provide articles as webpages. It failed to matter exactly what the URL contained, as long as the identifier was somewhere in the address. Unfortunately, the writing of link hooks into templates was inconsistent, resulting in thousands upon thousands 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 prefer to export every webpage address right into a spreadsheet or database. If you’re thinking about using Google site: queries, don’t bother as most of the issues you may look for do not can be found in search engine rankings. Each character features a specific use. Should they appear, determine if they are used properly, needs to be encoded, or if perhaps the URL needs reconfiguration.
Unsafe Characters – Unsafe URL Characters. Encode unsafe characters unless used for a specific purpose. The % symbol fails to require encoding when utilized 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. The truth is, many CMS platforms will encode these automatically. If you would like links that have these characters to stay consistent when shared from site to website, it’s a safe and 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 the webpage appears as you want it crawled and indexed if the # and everything that follows is removed. In the event the # changes content you would like indexed, you need to find a different URL structure. For example,