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My sister wants to launch a celebrity website, which will have information such as age, height, weight etc. Suppose the website is example.com:

  • www.example.com/demi-lavato → This sounds crisp and short
  • www.example.com/demi-lavato-age-weight-height-affairs-etc → this is the alternative

Which one is better? Does one of the above give more SEO mileage than the other?

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Google does weigh a page based on keywords that are in the URL. And so longtail URLs can be very helpful in this regard.

But longtail URLs when structured well can also be very helpful to people who are searching for information.

Say for instance that a person searches for "What is Demi Lovato's weight?". If they were to see a search result in Google for example.com/Demi-Lovato , they might not realize that this page actually has her weight listed. Whereas a page with the URL example.com/Demi-Lovato/Age-Weight-And-Height clearly indicates that this page will have her weight listed on that page.

A primary goal of URL structuring is to indicate to Google what the page will be about, as well as to indicate to the visitor what the page will be about.

Cleaner URLs without the longtail keywords can and often do look better, but you should also be thinking about how this will impact your click through rate. Do you think that users searching for information about celebrities are more likely to click on the longtail URL or the shorttail URL?

I think the answer to the above question also has to do with your domain name. If your domain name clearly has celebrity information as keywords in its name, it's more appparent what your site is about. Where as if your domain name is unrelated to the topic that the user is searching for, you may want to indicate to them what the page will be about in a longtail URL.

Click through rate is a major ranking indicator for Google on its search results. And so I think you should think about what structure will have the best result for you in this way. In the end, it's largely a matter of choice. If you're trying to rank on Google, I think longtail URLs will have a bigger impact. If you already have your own user base and want to clean up the URLs for them to access your pages more easily, then perhaps you can go shortail. In the end, it's mostly a matter of choice.

  • my domain name has actually the word biography: examplebiography.com, for example. – The WP Novice Feb 17 '18 at 11:55
  • Because of a keyword can the pages come up better in the Google ranks? – The WP Novice Feb 17 '18 at 11:56
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    "Google does weigh a page based on keywords that are in the URL." - Maybe so, but this metric has shown to be very small (if any) and insignificant compared to on-page content. (See the links in comments below the question.) So really the only benefit is CTR. But also, from the OPs example, it looks like the same -age-weight-height-affairs-etc would possibly be appended to every "celebrity" URL - which would probably be a bad idea IMO (looks spammy for one thing). Perhaps tag it on to the page title instead?? – MrWhite Feb 17 '18 at 12:22
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    "So really the only benefit is CTR." Fully agree. Optimising the title tag (as mentioned by MrWhite) and meta description might help SERP CTR, however as mere ranking factors their weight is actually arguable. – tentakellady Feb 17 '18 at 21:09
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Content and relevance weigh more than keyword-stuffed URLs. For SERP CTR, a clear, short URL, well written title and meta description are important. I'd recommend your sister to make sure she provides very well written content about her topic, and since she is giving facts about celebrities, she should make sure that these are always correct and up to date, as this is an important factor. Also, well-structured content using list elements can be helpful, for instance it can help her site to appear in featured snippets.

  • Thanks, @gianna. Maybe in title, we can write Keywords like this → <h1>Demi Lovato age, height, weight, boyfriends, and affairs</h1> – The WP Novice Feb 18 '18 at 7:11
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    "title" is not the h1 headline, but the website <title> which is shown in SERPs, whereas <h1> is the main headline of each URL. I am not a fan of lists in <title>, as this can be interpreted as too spammy. You could try something like "Demi Lovato: Vital statistics and private affairs" - but make sure that you include a call to action element in the meta description. As for the <h1>, you could totally do that, but would you yourself find this appealing as a headline? – tentakellady Feb 20 '18 at 11:03

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