URLs are important on-page SEO elements as we use them to travel from a page to another so they underpin your entire website. When you create a new site, create it with SEO in mind and try to come up with the best way to form URL structures for it.
What Google says
Google recommends using short URLs, thus trimming unnecessary parameters. In Google’s article on URL Structure it is mentioned that complex URLs can become an obstacle for crawlers and Googlebot may consume too many resources thus making it impossible to index all the content on your site.
“Overly complex URLs, especially those containing multiple parameters, can cause a problems for crawlers by creating unnecessarily high numbers of URLs that point to identical or similar content on your site. As a result, Googlebot may consume much more bandwidth than necessary, or may be unable to completely index all the content on your site.”
The ironic thing is that Google preaches but seems to be ignoring its own recommendations. Just take a look at all the Google Maps links, such as: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=98115&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1&iwloc=A
What short URLs can do for your SEO
Short URLs are easier to:
- Copy and paste
- Share over the Internet
- Write on a business card
- Write directly into your browser
- Spell when shared over the phone
These are just a few of the benefits of having short URLs. However, even though the URL is short, it should be descriptive of the content the visitor will find on that page.
For instance, here are some examples of good URLs from our website:
How including keywords in your URLs can help
Specialists recommend including in the URL the keyword we are targeting for that specific page. This will not only help with optimising the page for search engines, but also make it easier for any person to accurately deduce what information he will find on that page.
Make use of Google’s Keyword Tool and SEOMoz’s Keyword Difficulty Tool as these are two great resources for your keyword research.