Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 34.231.247.139

Forum Moderators: Robert Charlton & goodroi

Message Too Old, No Replies

Different URL structure - pros and cons?

     
2:33 pm on May 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 4, 2001
posts:2295
votes: 97


A site I designed about 12 years ago had a link structure to the effect
domain/brand-widgets-green.htm
domain/brand-widgets-red.htm
and so on.

Years later, someone redesigned the link structure to
domain/brand/widgets/green/index.htm
domain/brand/widgets/red/index.htm
and so on.

What is the advantage, or reasoning, to the second one? The only time I use sub-folders would be
domain/brand/widgets-green.htm
domain/brand/widgets-red.htm
and so on.

One thing is for certain, with all the pages being called index.htm, you can get confused when editing as you can forget which page you are on. Anyway, thoughts, opinions, feedback?

Thanks in advance.
Marshall
4:39 pm on May 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 7, 2006
posts: 1124
votes: 133


Calling every page index.htm is a bad idea, if only for the problem you highlight with editing. Best practice is to give the page a name that reflects its content in some way.

Whether you use a flatter or deeper hierachy for folders is less important for users than your link structure, but if link structure follows folders then end pages are less steps from the higher levels for the user if you use a flatter structure.

Another disadvantage of a deeper hierarchy is that it creates longer URLs, which are more trouble to enter manually, and can fail as links in emails if word-wrap breaks the address into more than one line.

On the other hand, a folder hierarchy simplifies editing tasks (particularly when working on subsections).

Broadly, as long as the URLs don't get too long, folder hierarchy should suit you, while link hierarchy - which doesn't have to follow folder hierarchy at all - should suit your users.

From your current position - especially with a lot of pages with the same name - changing the hierarchy will probably cause something of a headache in redirecting.
5:38 pm on May 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 25, 2018
posts:500
votes: 101


I would avoid working again with the someone who had the marvelous idea to turn all your URLs into index.html pages.

Beside what Wilburforce said, it's the kind of "optimization" which I think Google is downgrading, considering it excessive, and natural

First of all, instead of "domain/brand/widgets/green/index.htm" , this should be "domain/brand/widgets/green/". Secondly, having a green folder, only make sense if there are several pages inside.

I like your first URLs structure :

domain/brand-widgets-green.htm

or eventually, you can refine it as

domain/brand/widgets-green.htm
domain/brand/widgets-blue.htm

Now, of course, it also depends of the content you have for each widget , color and brand.
7:21 pm on May 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 5, 2004
posts: 599
votes: 82


I've learned it's best to keep categories out of the url:

domain/widgets-1.htm
domain/widgets-2.htm
domain/widgets-3.htm

I still have categories and I use breadcrumbs to help Google with those categories. The thing is Widgets can move around or belong to multiple categories so that is why I find it best just use the widget in the url.

I've had widgets be discontinued not only be brought back or one widget belonged to one brand but then got sold to another brand. I rather keep the URL when this happens than have to make a whole new url and a 301 redirect etc...
8:35 pm on May 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 9, 2011
posts:15813
votes: 848


having a /green/ folder, only make sense if there are several pages inside
Or other content, such as a separate set of images for each page. That's assuming for the sake of discussion that the URLpath represents real, physical directories. But even when it's all done with rewrites, you should make it look plausibble.

Only you can decide whether
/brand/widgets/
or
/widgets/brand/
is more useful and appropriate for your specific site.
6:42 am on May 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 29, 2012
posts:549
votes: 94


Just wondering, did the URL change affected the traffic or ranking at all?
2:51 pm on May 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 4, 2001
posts:2295
votes: 97


Just wondering, did the URL change affected the traffic or ranking at all?
The site's ranking dropped when changed to all those sub-folders with every page being an index page.
5:36 am on May 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:10320
votes: 1058


If every END page is an "index.html" how can an SE find it unique?

Old school SEO put keywords everywhere, including URIs and once that magic trick had been stomped on by the SEs...

URIs should make sense not only to YOU but the the SEs as well. Personally, I like widgets and a drop down on that page for Select Color.... keeps it K.I.S.S. as far as product hierarchy in urls
7:17 am on May 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:May 1, 2018
posts:2
votes: 0


As long as you do proper 301 redirects, those URL changes should work fine. The common theory in SEO is to put keywords in the URL. Other than that, there is nothing much on the URL structure, if you ignore " Error 404 "
8:24 am on May 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

Administrator

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

joined:Aug 10, 2004
posts:11823
votes: 237


The site's ranking dropped when changed to all those sub-folders with every page being an index page.

what response do you get when you request example.com/brand/widgets/green/ without the index.htm in the url?
if it's the same response you get for example.com/brand/widgets/green/index.htm then you have a canonicalization problem.

as Travis suggested, requests for /brand/widgets/green/index.htm should be 301 redirected to /brand/widgets/green/
 

Join The Conversation

Moderators and Top Contributors

Hot Threads This Week

Featured Threads

Free SEO Tools

Hire Expert Members