May I benefit (or not, or be punished) in my SEO rankings if I use different words on my URL than on the page's title? For instance:

  • Page Title:

    Our Offices

  • URL:


Would this mismatch be considered a minus or a plus in terms of SEO?

1 Answer 1


Search is not about keywords. It is about full semantic meaning. Think in terms of a sentence which is preferred though not always possible.

For example, Jane threw the ball. Jane is the subject, threw is the predicate, and ball is the object. This is an intentionally simple example. Search engines use a form of LSI (latent semantic indexing) that follows this model. Using LSI, search engines can determine the meaning of text. Search engines have standards that are long standing. For example, the About page, Contact page, etc. that allow for special meaning of traditional conventions. You use Our Offices for your title which may be understood. However, you add a bunch of other stuff to the URL that confuses meaning.

Title tags, URLs, and h1 tags should be consistent and represent the content found. Your URL is an example of keyword stuffing. There is no reason for this. The page is not about heavy duty equipment. Other pages are.

While I emphasise the importance of sending the right signals, keep in mind that it is the content that allows a page to be found. Elements such as the title tag, url, and h1 tag are clues and are taken with the content. In other words, by themselves, search will not match against them without support from the content. This is by design.

So while you are keyword stuffing the url, there will be no benefit unless that is what the content is about. Keep in mind that each element is scored using topical analysis along with the content. Any mismatch dilutes topical scores. However, topical scores that match supports the content strength. Not only does this make sense internally for search, it also works to penalize spammy behavior naturally. In addition, topical scores can signal spam using pattern analysis. Where this is the case, the page will score low as spam.

So does the mismatch cause a problem? Yes! Very likely it will.


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