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Do pages in the root folder rank better?



1:25 pm on Jul 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Are pages in root folder better?

I've been noticing this for sometime now.


is better than


Also some USENET users complained about getting broken URLs when URLs are long.

Is there any policy stated by W3C or any other Web organizers to control URL length etc?

[edited by: tedster at 4:54 pm (utc) on July 6, 2009]
[edit reason] switch to example.com - it cannot be owned [/edit]


6:11 pm on Jul 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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

Hello ganeshgrowth, and welcome to the forums.

This topic used to come up rather often, as you can see by using Site Search [webmasterworld.com]. As far as I'm concerned (an I do work with a lot of websites) the verdict is in, and the presence or absence of a folder does not matter for ranking.

For many sites today, the url is only a dynamic and virtual representation of the site structure and there are no "real" folders - so a search engine will not find a valuable signal if it looks at things like presence or absence of directories.

Is there any policy stated by W3C or any other Web organizers to control URL length etc?

According to Microsoft [support.microsoft.com]:

Microsoft Internet Explorer has a maximum uniform resource locator (URL) length of 2,083 characters. Internet Explorer also has a maximum path length of 2,048 characters. This limit applies to both POST request and GET request URLs.

So if the browser has a certain limit, then in the practical world, that's the limit. Technically I think it is more than that, but it doesn't really matter.

But I'd say don't let your urls get that long if you can avoid it. They can be broken in some email clients and other software and it will be more difficult to get good backlinks... or to attract clicks if those urls show up in search results.


6:34 am on Jul 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi tedster,

That's a great info provided,

Is directory level of a page considered in ordering SERP


seems to be getting higher importance than


and if the keyword is present in the title of the domain name itself e.g. http://example.com it seems to be getting an higher advantage.

So for the query e.g. example

search engines probably order the pages in the following order

Query: example
1. example.com
2. example.com/example.html
3. example.com/folder/example.html

Though it is not very conclusive. But is there a weight given in this direction.

Thanks in advance!


6:47 am on Jul 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

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

The reason that it seems like root level pages rank better is that most people link from the front page to pages at the root level then link to subpages from root level pages. You can have a url with 3 subdirs that will rank just as well as the root level page if you link to it from the front page. Google looks at links not the url.


7:13 am on Jul 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

...and in a normal site the home page will have a link from every page, then the top level folders will have links from all the pages in that folder. What you're seeing is just the normal effect of having a hierarchical structure, where more links (and therefore more PageRank) flow to these pages.


9:32 am on Jul 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

You can find many inner pages ranking above the home page for a number of keywords just due to the in-links pointing to the inner pages.

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