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Is URL Length a Ranking Factor - what say you?

   
8:47 pm on Feb 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month



Does url length still affect rankings?

I have my opinion - what's yours?

2:18 pm on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



When you say URL length would this be related to depth? - is there a differentiation between results - say.
would

http://www.example.com/here/is/my/selected/page/view/now
be any different to
http://www.example.com/here-is-my-selected-page-view-now.html

Ally

11:39 pm on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I don't know how much the algos have changed but about a year ago depth did make a significant difference, especially where pagerank was concerned.
5:59 am on Feb 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Depth did make a significant difference, especially where pagerank was concerned.

And it still does and always did. It's the path that determines how those pages perform at those depths. ;)

4:41 am on Feb 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I haven't done the research like some people have, but to use Blogger (bought by google) and Matt Cutts as an example, they both use www.domain.com/keyword-that-i-want-to-target.html

so it obviously doesn't hurt to follow this.

5:39 am on Feb 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I am in the camp which thinks that length is not ranking factor, but rather it's content. That is if length does not exceed technical limits - in that case it might but I don't know for sure....

Domain appraiser services use domain name length as one of the scoring factors though...however they might have their own reasons of doing so

6:29 am on Feb 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I don't think URL length affects rankings.

However, the URL itself, like the title and meta description affect your click-throughs and therefore ranking.

For example, if I am in the UK and searching for blue widgets, which URL do you think I am most likely to click on?

www.example.com/?p=2
www.example.com/blue-widgets/
www.example.co.uk/blue-widgets/

Probably the last one as it tells me that the site is in the UK and the page is about blue widgets.

[edited by: engine at 2:27 pm (utc) on Feb. 29, 2008]
[edit reason] examplified and delinked [/edit]

3:03 pm on Feb 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I hope URI length won't make a difference to ranking. The widgets.com domain would have gone in 1995. green-widgets.com will have gone by 2000. In 2008 it's touch and go whether you can pick up light-green-widgets.com. By 2015 slightly-faded-light-green-widgets.com could be tricky. Bung a directory structure and a page name on top of all that and you are starting to get long in the URI.

IMHO, while it sounds like the sort of thing the government would do, I reckon a hefty price-hike on all .uk and .com addresses would solve a whole load of problems. If it wasn't cost effective for companies or individuals to cybersquat on 1000+ domains, then there would be a lot more domains actually being used for proper websites...

3:08 pm on Feb 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



...and in response the general thread, we've not found that URL length has affected rankings negatively, particularly with dynamic URLs... I think domains with lots of slashes in could be hit though - it makes sense, as it waters down the user experience - for instance, in my industry, I see sites that do something like:

site.com/shares/share_price/vodafone/vodafone_share_price.html

Now I think this is pretty transparent, and as someone has mentioned, there isn't decent content at each level of the hierarchy. Sites that do something like:

site.com/share.php?price=vodafone

generally rank a lot better...

3:13 pm on Feb 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



There was some research about search results that suggested using shorter urls when all things were equal (say PR in this case).
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