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I'm creating a fairly large site. Will my links appear spammy if I use the same word as in the pathfile in the url? For example:

  • www.example.com/apples/great-apple-recipes

  • www.example.com/apples/fresh-apple-pie

  • www.example.com/apples/delicious-apple-turnovers

I do not want my link to appear spammy. But is it ok if the keyword is almost always the same as in the pathfile on a huge site? Does the pathfile count as part of the keyword?

Also, how many words in total should a url (including pathfile etc...) be?

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2 Answers

You are not going to get penalised for structuring your URLs this way. Including the category ("apples" in this case) as a directory is a common, logical structure and enables the user to see the hierarchy in the URL.

I suspect your URL structure is as a consequence of your coding structure - is that right? And these particular pages are all within the "apples" category. In that case, including "apples" in the URL is acceptable. It doesn't matter how many pages are structured this way, whether it's 10's or 1000's. Google indexes pages; not websites. Including a repeating keyword in multiple pages (providing it's relevant to that page) does not matter.

Including "apples" and "apple" in the URL might be superfluous from an SEO point of view, but it's not detrimental to your keyword strategy.

Does the pathfile count as part of the keyword?

The whole URL can potentially influence SEO, however, it is just one metric that search engines might use to index your page.

how many words should a url be?

Nobody likes overly long URLs, but it perhaps it needs to be long enough to convey meaning. Looking at the stack exchange network as a prime example and this question in particular, there seems to be a limit of about 14 or 15 words - or perhaps whatever will fit within an 80 filename character limit?

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Make your urls such that they make sense. Design your site for your users. Having keywords in your path is fine. You can use how ever many as you want. If you think your site has little to no useful content for users then it is spammy regardless of how many words or targeted keywords you have in your URL or page.

I do not want my link to appear spammy.

Ask your self a few questions since you're not going to show us the real site...

So why are you making them spammy? If it is just for search engines that's not a good reason. Good content will carry your site farther then spammy links. Oh and if you are linking to your site with the same anchor text that is also spammy and will not benefit your SEO.

Do you have a reason for making your URLs have those keywords? Do you have lots of content that has similar titles and you need unique urls because you don't want to use an numerical ID or something then great. /apples/231/ as an url with a proper page title and content works just as good in my opinion.

Does www.example.com/apples/ have useful content? If your site actually has a ton of various pages about APPLES then having a directory on your website containing all your APPLE content makes sense to me and actually is helpful. On the other hand is your using apples/ simply to stuff yet another keyword in your url, well then I would avoid that.

Content is king.

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