I have spent some time on SEO, recently, focusing on site architecture and domain URL structure. Logically, they go hand in hand. Through the many contradictions, the two consistent theories are:

  1. Domain URLs should be semantically structured. For example:www.example.com/product-parent-category/product-child-category/product-name

  2. The weight distribution of Keyword importance, is distributed from left to, within a URL structure. First directory carrying the greatest weighting, the second, a little less and so on.

With the above in mind, I performed a search for Aprons. Once I had gone past the big international players, I started to come across the smaller independent retailers.

There was one particular website, which ranked the highest, once the international players had been discarded. Their URL structure was:


I visited their website and could see they had a 'Kitchenware' range with the following URL:


This page, housed all of the other Child Product Categories. 'Coasters' and 'Cups' etc. I selected 'Aprons'. I was expecting to be taken to: www.example.com/pages/kitchenware/aprons/ with Breadcrumbs to support this structure and as a 'Where am I now' feature. I was not. Instead, I was taken to www.example.com/collections/aprons/ The very link which appeared in the search results.

For me, this is not great user experience. Not awful, as it kind of makes sense, but not great; as the user's 'thought process' is disrupted since 'Aprons' does not continue on from 'Kitchenware'.

This approach has been applied to much of the website. Whilst it does not seem to be the 'perfect' approach, in my eyes, many of the products are competing well in the SERP. Leading to me believing I am overlooking something. The only conclusions I can think of, are as follows:

  1. www.example.com/collections/kitchenware/aprons/ makes greater sense and provides a better user experience than www.example.com/collections/aprons/.
  2. 'Aprons' is further down the URL in www.example.com/collections/kitchenware/aprons than www.example.com/collections/aprons. Therefore, the latter's variation has had greater weighting to 'Aprons'.
  3. Therefore, where the shorter URL lacks user experience, it makes up for it through the greater weighting to 'Aprons' being applied.

Of course, domain structure is not the only part of the SERP algorithm. Therefore, it could just be that the website is performing well in all the other SERP requirements, which compensates for their 'poorer' structured URL.

To conclude, let's assume that all on page and off page SEO/content is identical. Which URL structure would likely perform better?

  1. www.example.com/collections/aprons/
  2. www.example.com/collections/kitchenware/aprons/


You can have 'Kitchen Aprons', 'Medical Aprons', 'Mechanic Aprons' etc. The first domain would simply bundle them all together; albeit with the possible use of a Faceted Navigation. With the second URL approach, you can have dedicated Product Categories for 'Kitchenware', 'Medicalware', 'Industrialware' etc with the Child Category 'Aprons' within.

Ultimately, is there something I may be overlooking as to why the highlighted website, would approach their URL structure like this?


Upon checking out Google's Keyword Planner, it is fair to say that there are more searches for 'Aprons' rather than 'Kitchenware'. Given that the weight distribution is applied from left to right, in a URL structure, I can see how www.example.com/collections/aprons/ can be effective even if it does not provide the greatest logical setup across the website. Is this where the trial and error approach comes into play?

  • I answered your last question and then edited it again to include elements of this question. See if it makes sense to you. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Jan 25 '18 at 16:35
  • It is quite possible that the links in the SERPs are positioned the way they are simply because of SERP link performance and not for any other reason. This comes down to how compelling the title tag and description meta-tag are (assuming that they are used).
    – closetnoc
    Jan 25 '18 at 16:37
  • For the record, you are asking good questions. Much have this has been addressed elsewhere on this site, however, you are asking questions addressing confusion that others may have in a way that can likely be found and helpful to others. Anything else we can help with, let us know! Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Jan 25 '18 at 17:22
  • Would my understanding be right that www.example.com/collections/kitchenware/aprons/ is semantically a better structure? Thus, would eventually perform better than its shorter variation, with SEO/content etc being identical for both pages?
    – Craig
    Jan 25 '18 at 21:22
  • Pages does not add value. Collections might. However, in /kitchenware/aprons/ kitchenware does add value to aprons. I tell people to ask the question, What about...? What about aprons? In this case, and I am not telling you to change things, just using an example, /store/kitchenware/aprons/ answers the question, What about aprons? Get where I am going? It still has a subject, predicate, and object like /aprons for sale/ (a more obvious example) would. Semantics can get confusing because sometimes assumptions are made. Once you get it, you get it. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Jan 26 '18 at 0:41

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