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I am creating a friendly url interpreter for my website. I have read dozens of similar topics on this site, but none that seem to address my particular situation. What I want to know is if it's better to have:

A well broken down URL where each category is represented by a folder

domain.com/1036/OR/Lane/Lowell/Wetleau-Subdivision

-OR-

A URL which groups all of the categories and terms together

domain.com/1036/Wetleau-Subdivision-Lowell-OR-Lane

I am asking only in terms of what is best for SEO, not necessarily human readability. My thinking is that it may be better to group them all together like they are in the second example. My reasoning being that all of those terms represent the page and are more likely to draw a result.

I am a complete SEO nub though, and I crave some expert guidance. Thank you in advance for any help given.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

URL represented in folder will always be better for reading and well for SEO also , there is nothing difference in either two methods but for human reading it makes lot of difference. If it is easier to read the link there is more chances of user clicking your site ( most of the user try to read the url before clicking in the search page result ) .

Google will give equal importance to both type but to display the result you need more optimization on other things like Anchors , content , keywords etc then just a URL. URL always should reflect your keyword and content keep it simple as much as possible

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+1 Thank you for your opinion. I'm going to see if I can get a couple more views on this before I mark an answer. –  VictorKilo Aug 10 '12 at 5:28

Based on the wording of your question I'm guessing you have seen this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=971qGsTPs8M

Where Matt Cutts of Google (approx 2 mins.) addresses this very issue. However my gut feeling from experience says that all things being equal, it is the title tag of the page in question that would be significant. To this day, I see spammy sites with optimized page titles rank well, presumably because search engines like exact matches. Descriptions tags are important too but Google often generates them dynamically based on the query from page content, which is what @panindra was referencing above.

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I had not seen that video. That was an extremely helpful watch. Thanks! –  VictorKilo Aug 17 '12 at 16:43

First I must say that search engines doesn't care about your URL structure. they only see your tags and your content.

URL is only important for the visitors.

I must ask something, do you actually have many different pages under each folder/category?! if yes, then it would be more clear for the visitors to use a folder for each category.

But remember, simple is easy, keep it as simple as possible, don't make any unnecessary folders and also don't put all your pages from different categories in one folder.

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There is technically only one controlling page. The number (in my example 1036) is what dictates what content is served. The remainder of the URI does not affect what gets served. So, although the structure may show additional folders, it's really just for the user's benefit. That being said, would you say that a URL looks more organized split up into folders or strung out in a long string? –  VictorKilo Sep 11 '12 at 22:03
    
I see no problem with using folders as far as folders are logical. but don't use folders just because you think hyphens aren't beautiful, actually, just look at your current address bar, the title of this post is a big long line separated with hyphens, I think it's perfectly fine. just design your tree and add files to the correct branches. long URL is not ugly and it isn't SEO unfriendly, but an illogical URL is visitor unfriendly! –  Omne Sep 12 '12 at 17:38

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