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I am planning to update content on an already performing page and expand the content on page. In order to accommodate the extra content, updating the title of the page is necessary and I think could help the SERP of the page. The question is around updating the URL as well, which would require a 301.

The URL is constructed: http://www.domain.com/title

How important is it to update the URL to reflect the new title of the page?

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Your H1, Title tag, and URL do not need to be the same. See an earlier question I asked that was similar, Should my Title tag be the same as my H1 tag?.

You should consider putting the most important words in both your H1 and title tags for a specific page. Also, Google does pay attention to work order in the Title tag and H1 tag. That means you want to put the most important word(s) first as they will get more weight.

Remember your Title should be around 60 characters but your URL should probably be shorter.

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Thanks for the info. Maybe I misunderstand your response, but my question is around URL mainly. The URL is constructed using title. So, if I change the title, but not url I'll get something like this: Title: "Used Cars for Sale by Owner- Buyer's Guide" with a URL: domain.com/find-used-cars-for-sale-by-owner-in-five-simple-steps. The title used to be "Find Used Cars For Sale by Owner in Five Simple Steps" – user4963 Jan 27 '11 at 22:00
@jrundell - Sorry, you put title(H1) which is why I was confused. I updated my response. – Ben Hoffman Jan 27 '11 at 22:53

It depends. Does the URL still accurately describe the content? And while titles and URLs don't need to match (just as headings and titles don't either), they should correlate closely.

Think about how it will impact users. If the user remembers the title/heading of the page being "20 ways to eat healthy" but the URL is /10-ways-to-lose-weight, then it could cause some confusion.

It's better to lose some short-term search ranking if it results in better usability. Though if the content undergoes a significant change, you may consider just creating a new page.

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