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Does naming utility folders (css/js/images/) to include keywords help?

 5:53 pm on Nov 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

I just heard this as a recent suggestion and was wondering what other thought.

Basically most websites have utility directories that don't deliver html content. (eg /images/, /css/, /js/, etc...)

So if you are targeting the phrase blue widgets, are the following directory names superior for google SEO?


On the flip-side, could something like this get you penalized, for keyword over optimization?


Robert Charlton

 6:05 pm on Nov 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

This kind of thinking to improve ranking in Google is, IMO, going into completely the wrong direction.

The Google algorithm is moving toward delivering better content and more user engagement for site visitors... and I think that the sooner you put your energies in that direction, the better you will do.

To address the specifics of the question more directly... keywords in page filenames and pathnames have at best a miniscule effect on ranking. They may attract the eye in the serps when bolded. That, IMO, is their main benefit. I can't imagine that Google cares what you name your CSS files. That said, upon manual inspection (should it come down to that), if Google sees that you've stuffed your keywords into every nook and cranny, that will most likely negatively affect their view of your page.


 6:50 pm on Nov 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Theoretically, I think, when justified, logically naming a short path in a natural way can help bring value for keywords/keyphrases but in itself it's not the do-all, end-all white hat search engine elixir secret; that's for sure and I'll tell ya' that for sure. :)


 7:09 pm on Nov 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Can it help? It might.

From my point of view this is like asking if looking for lost coins on a beach will help you become a millionaire. Any benefit is probably too small to justify the time & energy. I would focus on more profitable long term strategies like developing great content or recruiting site for cross promotion.


 7:10 pm on Nov 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

are the following directory names superior for google SEO

I would say a firm "no".

For starters, if you are only aiming at one phrase you are already missing the boat for Google SEO.

It's good to use meaningful words for naming things, but don't get carried away. Names such as you suggest are clearly artificial and contrived, so they are unlikely to impress the search engines.

Worse, that kind of keyword stuffing could easily have the unwanted side effect of making it harder to rank for other phrases besides "blue widgets".

Such names would also add extra characters to every page that links to them. That is seldom a good thing.

stuffed your keywords into every nook and cranny

AIm for "keyword-spiced", not "keyword-stuffed".


 7:22 pm on Nov 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

On the other hand...

One of my competitors seems to have used a variation on what the original poster mentioned to some benefit.

If it takes little to no time or energy to do it, why not?


 7:36 pm on Nov 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

I used to do this kind of thing in the 90s, but it stopped being useful early in Google's lifetime.

I don't do it now because I think it sends an "intent to manipulate" signal. I know Bing watches for those signs - things like stuffed meta keywords and so on - and since the practice no longer tested as helpful from what I could see, I began to avoid it.


 10:18 pm on Nov 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

What about /images/? I can understand /js or /scripts or /css being flagged for keyword stuffing...but it would not be uncommon for an image directory to have a keyword phrase in it.

Would it help with image search? Would /blue/widgets/1.jpg help '1.jpg' rank for the term 'blue widgets'?

On that thought...if you have images that rank for image search does this 'set a theme' which in turn helps you for regular search? So if google thinks you have a lot of blue widget pictures, does this help you rank for blue widgets? If so, should we be stuffing (discretely) image alt/title tags and optimizing file/dir names for images to help non-image regular searches?

(all suggestions from a seo app I'm looking at)

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