A URL, or Uniform Resource Locator, is an address for a file or resource that specifies where that resource is, and how to go about retrieving it.

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96
votes
10answers
4k views

URLs: Should I use hyphens, underscores or plus symbols?

Which is better for search engines? example.com/my_cool_page.html example.com/my-cool-page.html example.com/my+cool+page.html
68
votes
7answers
14k views

How should I structure my URLs for both SEO and localization?

When I set up a site in multiple languages, how should I set up my URLs for search engines and usability? Let's say my site is www.example.com, and I'm translating into French and Spanish. What is ...
66
votes
8answers
4k views

Should I include “www” in my canonical URLs? What are the pros and cons?

What are the pros and cons of having http://www.example.com/ vs http://example.com/? For example a problem I'm aware of is that if I use a domain without www I can't set a cookie for the current ...
44
votes
9answers
14k views

Why are URLs case-sensitive?

My question: When URLs were first designed, why was case-sensitivity made a feature? I ask this because it seems to me (i.e., a layperson) that case-insensitivity would be preferred to prevent ...
38
votes
3answers
6k views

How can URLs have a dot . at the end, e.g. www.bla.de.?

I never believed URLs could have a period at the end, as in www.google.de. (which obvious is not working). However, www.youtu.be. is working perfectly well. How did they manage that?
35
votes
4answers
10k views

Does it make a difference if your URL path ends in a trailing slash or not?

Does it make any difference to SEO ratings what-so-ever if your url has a trailing slash: http://www.example.com/some/slug/paths/ as opposed to one that does not: ...
30
votes
4answers
32k views

What does the double slash mean in URLs?

What does double slashes often found in URL's mean exactly? For example: http://www.example.com/A/B//C/ Please note that I'm not referring to the beginning right after http:.
24
votes
5answers
1k views

Why is it preferable to use paths with slashes instead of query-string variables in a web page URL?

Why is it preferable to use paths with slashes instead of query-string variables in a web page URL?
22
votes
7answers
7k views

Should I use a file extension or not?

I've always wondered about this and never found a good solution. But this question reminded me of it. When I have a URL on my website it can be displayed and accessed any of the following ways: ...
22
votes
3answers
30k views

What is the difference between a URI and a URL?

I have read these pages: http://www.w3.org/TR/uri-clarification/ http://www.damnhandy.com/2007/11/19/uri-vs-url-whats-the-difference/ I know basic about URL, URN, and URI; but little on their ...
19
votes
5answers
4k views

Why are extensions often hidden on URLs?

Many times I see that URL extensions are hidden (e.g. .html, .php), but not all websites do this. Why do webmasters hide the extension? Is it for security, for the URL to look cleaner, or for some ...
19
votes
4answers
16k views

Are keywords in URLs good SEO or needlessly redundant?

A coworker and I are locked in a debate over the value of SEO keywords in the URL of a page. She wants to change all the filenames of the HTML pages of a fencing company so they look like ...
18
votes
5answers
521 views

Are there any technical issues with having an 'internationalized' domain name?

In my language there are numerous characters that are not allowed in the standard domain name. However, most of these can be easily replaced with safe equivalents (mostly dropping accents í becomes i ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

Do shorter URLs benefit the pagerank and overall SEO value of pages vs. a longer categorised url showing the site structure

We are coming to the end of a long project in which we are upgrading our client's site from a custom built CMS to the latest version of Umbraco CMS whilst also making their website responsive. As part ...
18
votes
3answers
4k views

What does WWW do?

To be clear: I am not asking whether or not I should use www in my url, or what the pros and cons are, that topic is well covered. I also wasn't sure if this was a Stack Overflow, Server Fault, or ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Should my URLs be lowercase?

According to this blog ("Understanding SEO Friendly URL Syntax Practices") I should change http://example.com/Hello-Dolly To http://example.com/hello-dolly The reasons given are: ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Well structured URLs vs. URLs optimized for SEO

Let’s take an example of a movie site. So a well structured set of URLs for this site can be: Movie page - example.com/movies/the-matrix Review for movie - example.com/movies/the-matrix/reviews ...
12
votes
4answers
770 views

What is good URI design?

How should a good URI be designed? What are the factors to consider? What are the pros and cons of the variants? Factors that makes up a good URI Stability over time Short Give the user an idea ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

How to handle canonical url changes like Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow sites all have pretty urls which include the question title. In the HTML it also have canonical url for that page. I just found out that when I change the question title, the url is ...
12
votes
2answers
828 views

How should websites handle hostname with trailing dot?

I read this question How can URLs have a dot . at the end, e.g. www.bla.de.? and realise that FQDN should contain a trailing . for the root label of the DNS tree: example.com. instead of example.com ...
11
votes
2answers
5k views

Can I use asterisks in URLs?

Are there any reasons I shouldn't use an asterisk (*) in a URL? Background: With asterisks, I could provide these nice and user friendly (or what do you think??) URLs: ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is there are tilde (~) sign in most university URLs

My university provides a web URL and some hosting space and the URL is like http://homepages.iitb.ac.in/~pritampebam. Almost all universities I've come across seem to use this structure where there ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do Stack Overflow question URLs have the question ID before SEO friendly 'question'?

Take for example this random question: Tool or plugin required to show out in which html files a given css selectors is used, notice that the relevant part is /questions/16999. Now, it being possible ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the best file extension for an SEO friendly URL?

I'm working for a website to convert the website URL to an SEO friendly URL. I plan to use this: example.com/category-name/pageid-123-page-name I looked at some similarly categorized, highly ranked ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

URL paths and their effect on SEO

We are developing a website where there will be two distinct types of content: galleries and photos. It makes little sense to use URL paths like /gallery/photo as some photos can appear in more than ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

SEO : urls : best place for the id

I would like to know what's the best location for an id in a SEO optimized URL: http://www.site.com/id/slug-title http://www.site.com/slug-title-id What do you think ?
10
votes
4answers
788 views

What is the difference between a homepage link with or without a trailing slash?

What is the difference between these two URLs: http://example.com/ http://example.com Should we always add the final / or avoid it? Does it make a difference?
10
votes
2answers
811 views

Google is changing my urls in search results - Joomla3 bug

My urls is something like escene.ir/component/products/تلفن-های-تحت-شبکه-مدیریتی/Escene-ES620-PEN-IP-Phone?task=view.12 but when I try to search site:escene.ir to see the whole links of my site, ...
10
votes
5answers
304 views

Which of these 3 URL-Rewritings are better SEO friendly URLs?

Imagine my current flat-file no-CMS website with an URL like http://example.com/en/tomato. This is of course very unsexy and could be anything really from tomato soup, tomato the music band, tomato ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Canonical URL for a home page and trailing slashes

My home page could be potentially linked as: http://example.com http://example.com/ http://example.com/?ref=1 http://example.com/index.html http://example.com/index.html?ref=2 (the same page is ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

What should filenames and URLs of images contain for SEO benefit?

We know that good site architecture usually looks like this: example-company.com/ example-company.com/about/ example-company.com/contact/ example-company.com/products/ ...
10
votes
1answer
587 views

Multi Language URLs

I'm building an online store that will be supported in 3 languages: English, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese. My question is whether or not it is a good idea to make language specific ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Can I define the letter case of a Domain Name?

I want to purchase a second level domain (on the web platform Altervista.org) with the .com extension. Since within the domain verification process I can type characters in both upper and lower case ...
9
votes
1answer
5k views

Is trailing slash automagically added on click of home page URL in browser?

I am asking this because whenever I hover over a link to a home page (e.g. http://www.example.com), I notice that a trailing slash is always added (as observed on the status bar of the browser) ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the purpose of leading slash in HTML URLs?

I have noticed that some blogs posts have links using a value starting with / in the href. For example: <a href="/somedir/somepage.html">My Page</a> Does the leading / mean the path is ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I find when an URL was first indexed by Google?

How do I find out when a particular URL was first indexed by Google? I'd prefer a solution that works even for competitors' URLs that are not owned by me.
9
votes
4answers
400 views

Where does the URL parameter “?chocaid=397” come from?

In Google Webmaster Tools, I noticed that my front page was indexed two times: example.com/ example.com/?chocaid=397 I know that I could fix this with the use of link type canonical, but I wonder: ...
8
votes
3answers
16k views

Which special characters are safe to use in url?

Which special characters are safe to use in url?
8
votes
4answers
3k views

In terms of SEO, what is the difference between a URL with and without a trailing slash?

In terms of SEO, what's the difference between: http://example.com/some-stuff/ and http://example.com/some-stuff I could not find anything useful regarding this concept, can you explain this?
8
votes
2answers
6k views

Is a URL with a query string better or worse for SEO then one without one?

I want to know, is there a huge difference in terms of SEO between these URLs: mysite.com/ontario/toronto/listings or mysite.com/listings.php?p=ontario&c=toronto Will one URL rank ...
8
votes
3answers
849 views

Is it a problem (e.g. for Google) when my site has no root page?

I have a multi-lingual site, which contains languages in this manner: http://www.example.com/en/ http://www.example.com/de/ http://www.example.com/fr/ To avoid duplicate links, is it ok not to have ...
8
votes
3answers
369 views

How do I handle the URL of an article that sits in more than one category

In our knowledge base (hosted in Wordpress) we have one article that is relevant to 2 categories. I do not want to duplicate the article and have it sitting separately in each category for fear of ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

Poor Man's Clean URLs vs. Mod_Rewrite

At the company where I work, we're getting ready to design a new web site, and there's some disagreement about how to do clean URLs. Over the past year we've been making small improvements to our ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Should URL paths be case sensitive?

My website's URLs are currently case-insensitive. For example, both of the following links show the exact same page: http://example.com/about http://example.com/About However, taking a look at the ...
8
votes
4answers
91 views

Are spaces in “href” valid?

Is <a href=" #id "> (note spaces) correct (X)HTML? Does it mean the same as <a href="#id">?
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Can an HTTP status 400 be a substitute for a 410?

As I shift many URL's on my site from non-friendly to friendly, I came across an old URL that was used for testing that google later ended up scanning but now I no longer use the URL. Its in the ...
7
votes
3answers
405 views

Why treat these as URLs with different path capitalization and trailing slash as different?

These are all strictly different urls: http://www.example.com/page http://www.example.com/pAge http://www.example.com/page/ http://www.example.com/paGE/ I get that it conforms to the strict ISO ...
7
votes
6answers
825 views

Subdomains or folders?

I'm working on a services type web application and I have to choose how to set up the URLs for the customers. Which solution is better, as a subdomain (e.g.: client.myservice.com) or as a folder ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

Benefit of date in URL segments

I was curious about the date in URL segments, is there any SEO point of benefit? For example the following URLs: ...
7
votes
4answers
711 views

Combine websites without hurting SEO

I have a friend that I'm helping out with some web design. Basically, the guy owns a few businesses that are all complementary of each other and he wants to combine them all into a single site. ...