Lets say, I have an 'Abstract Daffodil' painting. As such, the product would fit into both of the following Product Category URLs:

  1. www.example.com/floral-canvas/daffodils
  2. www.example.com/floral-canvas/abstract-flowers

Over time, lets assume the search query 'Abstract Daffodil Canvas Paintings' is starting to generate traffic, I would like to reach out to. As such, I would like to solidify my SEO efforts, in targeting such a search query.

Focusing on the URL structure only, is there a right or wrong way to implement this, as far as search engines are concerned? For example, would preference be given to either of the following URL structures:

  1. www.example.com/floral-canvas/daffodils/abstract
  2. www.example.com/floral-canvas/abstract-flowers/daffodils

If so, why would a search engine prefer one over the other?

  • I get your question, but not your examples. This seems to me where actual content makes the difference. One thing is clear. You are thinking! You are also starting to really get it too!!
    – closetnoc
    Jun 10, 2018 at 2:26
  • One of the things I do is use the query text box and type a bunch of test queries slowly to see what Google autoseggests. While search changes everyday, it moves slower for more stable histories and the autosuggest tool allows me to more accurately gauge how people search for content. I use this as a guide. Organize how you need to, but keep one eye on the results of the autosuggest to seize on opportunities too. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Jun 10, 2018 at 2:34

1 Answer 1


Search engines don't care about your URL structure these days. Either of your example URLs would be fine with search engines.

However, neither of your URLs are great for users. A perfect URL would:

  • Describe the content
  • Be permanent
  • Be memorable

You are describing the content, but the other two points are poor. A better URL might be:


The more directories you put in your URL, the less permanent it is likely to be. You should be able to rename a directory later without changing a boatload of URLs. When you have multiple directories in your URL, that is extra chances for your URL to have to change when you rename any of them.

The longer your URL, the harder it is for users to remember and type in. Just a couple words is usually enough to uniquely identify any content on your site. Consider using one directory or a database ID in the URL if you need to do so for your sanity.

For more information about creating good URLs see:

  • I was thinking of using /floral-canvas/abstract-flowers/abstract-daffodils but wouldn't the duplicate use of abstract here, be an issue? I know I could remove the /abstract-flowers/ but then, there wouldn't be a page for those who are looking for the more general abstract flowers. Are you suggesting that it is okay to have long a long directory path, just do not always place them in the URL?
    – Craig
    Jun 10, 2018 at 14:53
  • 1
    Search engines don't care about your URL structure these days. This cannot be completely true. We have all seen links get indexed and show up in the SERPs when the page has not been indexed yet or restricted by the robots.txt. This happens because there are two strong clues, the link text and the URL. I do agree the days of weighting the URL heavily has gone by way of the dodo as it should have. But the semantic value of both link elements still remains as a clue. I think of these as the pages elevator pitch! (Humor.) In this, the URL should reflect what the content is about. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Jun 10, 2018 at 15:09
  • 1
    I know it sounds crazy, but the longer I think about it, the headline read order theory is brilliant and not for the reasons the originator gives exactly. I believe it applies more than anyone can know. It is like the guy who invented the adhesive used on post-it. It was a mistake that took another to see as valuable. The inventor created the adhesive for another purpose that ended up not applying, but brilliant none the less.
    – closetnoc
    Jun 10, 2018 at 15:17
  • Whether or not you have a page for abstract flowers should have nothing to do with your decision about the URL of your attract daffodils page. Jun 10, 2018 at 16:00
  • @StephenOstermiller: abstract flowers should have nothing to do with your decision ... Are you saying that .../abstract-daffodils/ would be a better URL? Therefore, a Parent Category in its own right, rather than a Child Category of a broader Category? In other words, /abstract-daffodils/ should be placed at the same directory level as /abstract-flowers/?
    – Craig
    Jun 11, 2018 at 19:21

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