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How long can a URL be? Before bad for SEO.
URL length, SEO

 12:24 pm on Mar 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Basically is this bad? This one is 100 characters long.


I do not tend to like using codes and numbers in url, but now am wondering about the SEO. How long before google says too long and don't follow it? Is there a limit?

[edited by: tedster at 12:02 am (utc) on Mar. 28, 2008]
[edit reason] switch to example.com - it can never be owned [/edit]



 1:56 am on Mar 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hey rudyten, welcome to WebmasterWorld!

Basically, longer than that. ;-)

There was a time when longer URL's, especially ones with lots of special characters, were a problem. For a host of reasons not worth getting into (other than the SE's wanting ever greater access to every file on the Web), they've gotten much better at indexing pages with URL's like that.

And as long as the URL's are not really excessively long (IMHO yours is not), descriptive URL's are useful to SE's and users alike.

Heck, from your URL above, I have a pretty darned good idea what that page is likely to be about. That means SE's (hint: and users viewing SERPs) will also. :p


 5:37 am on Mar 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks, I was just not sure for a URL how big is big.

Am creating a directory from scratch, just to learn php, javacript , SEO and so on. Lots of info on here this forums. Well, maybe not from scratch. It is the one I created a bit ago from scratch, Am just redoing chunks of it since now I know so much more. At moment and redoing category and regional structures. Almost have those friendly URLS completed, Next will be learning how to match the old folder structure to the news one without losing my tiny traffic. 301 redirect i guess, need to read up on it and how too


 7:15 am on Mar 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Something tells me you will go far rudyten. Asking thoughtful questions is good. So is doing your homework. Sounds like you've got the idea. ;-)

P.S. Can't tell you how many times I did and redid my sites in the early days, before getting to a point that I mainly got it right in the planning stages. Even then, always more evolving to do.


 7:19 am on Mar 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

welcome to WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com], rudyten!

you might consider keeping the urls that get the most traffic and especially the ones with good inbound links and using an internal rewrite instead of a redirect.


 7:26 am on Mar 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

also this thread has some interesting information - it starts out on title length and veers into a discussion of url length [webmasterworld.com].


 6:40 am on Mar 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

If i use REWRITE to redirect won't that cause Google and yahoo never to get rid of the old indexed pages? Won't they continue to think the old pages exist?

I want to send clicks on old links to correct pages, but I want Engines to know that old page no longer exist anymore.

One common error, well not an error. It was a misspelling I used to have. www.domain.com/artsandcraft.html (I was missing the S in crafts), Now it is www.domain.com/artsandcrafts.html. Not a major thing, but it NAGGED at me.

I get easily nagged. hehehehe, everybody tells me to TURN off ERROR REPORTING logging for NOTICE (8)'s. But I like them fixed. Same thing applies to having my pages validate(W3C) with no Warnings or error, and boy did I have allot of those when i first went to "XHTML 1.0 Strict".


 11:13 pm on Mar 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

i think i missed that the new site was already live and indexed.
according to tedster's typically excellent advice given previously on this subject, let low-level pages go 404 and minimize use of 301's to the "important" urls (those with backlinks and/or significant search traffic).
this avoids duplicate content problems, minimizes the trust issues with a massive redirect and if the site has a good structure, then the SE's will find the new URLs by crawling and who cares about the old ones.


 1:49 am on Apr 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

I did do it from Scratch, this is just my Second pass at it. I created it a year ago. I just got layoff a month Ago, so what the hell, might as well but my extra spare time to use. It started as a learning Tool, am still learning from it. And I do enjoy working on it. I think I must of looked at hundredths of directories.

Ohh and thanks, I was thinking of Redirecting EVERY page, but it does make sense to redirect only Main ones.
Not that I have allot of traffic, I think I get about 100 unique hits a Day.


 9:28 am on Apr 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

that's what you should redirect - just the top 5-10% of your pages.
with a good link structure the rest should just occur naturally...


 4:39 pm on Apr 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Personally, I'd be reluctant to put a percent on it.

We redid a site last year that had three main parts to the site. All pages except the homepage were 301 redirected, but we did one section at a time, over a period of months. No issues there at all. It was a smallish site (about 500-600 pages), had been around for a LONG time, and had a relatively flat file structure. Plus at least half of the site's pages had external backlinks. No way we would have just let most of those pages hang with 404's. We just took our time getting the redirects done.

OTOH, I could imagine a new-ish small site, or a huge site with only a handful of rankable pages, whereby most of the pages, e.g., perhaps significantly less than 5%, needed to be redirected.

There are an endless array of Web pages out there, from old to new, linked to orphaned, etc. What's important to keep in mind when changing URL's on the same domain is that the more important the page, the more important it is to let the SE's know it has permanently moved, not disappeared.

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