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SEO What does a URL mean and how should it be optimized for Google?

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The URL is, in most cases, the first thing Google or other search engines discover when it comes to contacting a site. And as the first impression counts, we need to make sure URLs meet all the recommended criteria by Google on the one hand, and the criteria of common sense, on the other hand, to gain the respect and confidence of consumers.

URL Definition
The Uniform Resource Locator or Uniform Resource Locator is standardized characters used to name, locate and identify online resources, a standard set by Tim Berners-Lee, an English programmer and inventor of the World Wide Web (www). He also recommends that a URL be free of spaces and, as far as possible, not be duplicated.

Examples of URLs
The URL required by Tim Berners-Lee has the following scheme:

<protocol>: // <DNS name> / <local_name>, where:

protocol = set of rules and standards that make it possible to share information between computers (HTTP or HTTPS)
DNS_name = domain name on which the source is located (chosen by the site owner)
local_name = name of the respective page, image, document, etc.

The easy is the way to read URL for people, the better
It should not be a surprise that the URL is easier to read for people, the better it is for search engines. Accessibility has always been an important part of SEO optimization, but never as strong as today. Google now recognizes, more than ever, how easy it is for a user to interact with a site.

The requirement is not that every aspect of the URL must be absolutely clean and perfect, but at least it must be easy to understand and hopefully convincing for those looking for some information.

Moreover, users, compared to Google, can easily understand a word-wording. That's why it's important that the URL is as concise and clear as possible

Keywords in URLs, still helpful for SEO
Every time we launch a new page into a site, it should have a purpose, to tangle something concrete. Whether it is transactional, informative or administrative, the purpose of its existence must be clear from the start.

We want this page to be discovered by the right people (and crawlers) so that we incorporate keyword research and include the relevant terms. The most descriptive of them - the main term on this page - should be included in the URL as close to the main domain.

The best example is online stores. Many of them have the link form like https://www.exmplabuy.com/product_123, which is completely wrong. By inserting the keywords in the link you can bring targeted traffic to the site. We think a keyword-optimized URL helps a lot in getting a good place on the first pages of search engines.

So, rewritten and SEO optimized, the URL should look like this: https://www.examplebuy.com/woman-diamonds-bracelet (given that the keyword set is "women diamonds bracelet" "Diamonds" is the type of product or women's bracelet that indicates its characteristics.

URL, long or short?
Shorter URLs are generally preferable. You do not have to take this to the extreme, and if your URL is already less than 50-60 characters, do not worry. But if you have URLs that pass through 100+ characters, it's likely that by rewriting them you will gain important positions in SERP.

URL length is not a direct issue with Google or Bing - search engines can process long URLs without too many problems. Instead, the idea consists of user experience. Shorter URLs are easier to analyze, copy and paste, share them on social media, and incorporate them into emails. After all, every detail is important, and we all know the details matter!

And do not forget: After 512 pixels, Google does not display the URL entirely on the results pages.

Avoid using link words in the URL
Link words such as "and", "a", "an," "but," etc. increase the chances that your site page will be considered spam by search engines. Obviously, the tendency is to write easy-to-understand URLs for web and quality, especially as Google's algorithms can figure out whether a site has been optimized for people or just for search engines. As a rule, Google does not penalize this technique, but removing them will shorten the URL, which is an extra help for the reader.

The same applies to URLs that contain numbers. Keep in mind that values do not respond to search engines on different search engines, so the results will not reveal the site you own. In other words, these numbers serve no SEO role because they are arbitrary and do not contain meaning in themselves.

To avoid situations where the site is not revealed in search results, our advice is to drop the link words, and numbers see bellow.

Try not to put capitals inside the URLs
Caps URLs can generate pages with 404 (Page not Found), and Google does not like it at all. It will not be pitiable to penalize you, even though SEO Optimization specialists claim they are still not capable of recognizing all these types of existing URLs on the World Wide Web.

Repeating Keywords in the URL will not help, on the contrary, you will be suspected because of Spam

Including keywords in URLs is still an effective SEO optimization technique. However, certainly too many words will bring you a high risk of spam. It is good to know that repeating them does not help to grow in positions but, on the contrary, Panda and Penguin, running in real time, will ban the pages with too many keywords (keyword stuffing).

Create a Sitemap with all URLs
To help users as well as search engines, any website must include a sitemap, a file that includes all existing URLs. A sitemap is a complete look at the link structure, and each time new pages are added, the content will be sorted according to its relevance.

The most used sitemaps are XML and HTML, each with its role.

The XML Sitemap is used to inform search engines about the pages of a website, and Google, Yahoo, and Bing regard it as a method of fully indexing and continuously transmitting changes in its structure.

Here's how an XML sitemap looks like:
Code:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9">

  <url>

    <loc>http://www.examplewebsite.com/news/</loc>

    <lastmod>2015-10-31</lastmod>

    <changefreq>weekly</changefreq>

    <priority>0.8</priority>

  </url>

  <url>

    <loc>http://www.examplewebsite.com/arhive/</loc>

    <lastmod>2015-07-01</lastmod>

    <changefreq>monthly</changefreq>

    <priority>0.5</priority>

  </url>

</urlset>
HTML Sitemap. Unlike the first option, the HTML sitemap guides visitors to make navigation more enjoyable. This type may also be useful for search engines, but so far it has not been established if it guarantees the indexing of all existing pages.
Here's how an HTML sitemap looks like:
Code:
[/SIZE]
[B][SIZE=4]The home[/SIZE][/B]
[SIZE=4]... .. [B]Category 1[/B]
............ Product 1
............ Product 2
... .. [B]Category 2[/B]
............ Product 3
............ Product 4

Conclusions
Site URL structure of a site is part of the main set of criteria that Google considers when setting the order of results on results pages. Typically, setting URLs and, implicitly, structuring the site should be based on a complex keyword research process and should be the basis for creating the site.

Realistically speaking, this happens quite rarely, and as a result, most websites start out with inappropriate or more accurately said URLs, not optimized for the SEO process. The problem usually comes to the surface when starting a SEO optimization campaign. And as it is never too late, site restructuring and URL rewriting can give a boost to search engine positions.

The role and importance of how URLs are thought of are decisive in the optimization process. That is why our urge is to pay attention to this topic and most importantly: think that URLs are primarily for users.

So, how important you consider that URLs are in the SEO optimization process?
 
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