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For search engines, mostly Google, which is better:

example.com/keyword1/keyword2

or:

example.com/keyword1-keyword2

This specific page has to rank high for keyword 2, and possibly keyword 1 too.

  • Possible duplicate of Is it better to use slash or hyphens for SEO and a host of other same questions found by using the search box. – Rob Jun 17 at 20:48
  • Good call @Rob. Worth noting that anything from 2012 is almost certainly wrong by now. – pbhj Jun 17 at 21:06
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As @Henry Visotski says they're different. URLs are often seen by users and so you may want to optimise from that perspective. For example, if you have a whole slew of pages under a category then using the domain.com/subdir/page-keywords-here style makes sense as it implies that there are more pages in that subdir.

However, a reply on Moz.com (dated 2016-10-07) indicates that the respondent had done testing and seen benefit for keywords in the page slug only.

Moz.com have additional suggestions (dated 2015) that are pertinent here:

  • #11 : fewer directories is better
  • #15 : keyword repetitions makes your URLs look spammy to users (and don't help ranking)

I've seen suggestions elsewhere that there's a tiny benefit in a keyword being earlier in a URL. But they're not proven results.

Your best bet is probably to do some A-B testing. Honestly though I think we've moved on from placement of keywords in URLs (unless it looks like stuffing); I don't think you'll see any difference.

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These examples are two different things that denote the structure of the website, and where the document lives in the hierarchy. The first example shows "keyword1" to be a directory and "keyword2" to be a doc (or a subdirectory). The second example shows "keyword1-keyword2" to be a doc (or a subdirectory).

While there's a difference in how Google would perceive your site's structure and hierarchy, it's a small factor in whether you're going to rank for either keyword. In both cases, the keywords live in the URL, which takes care of that. But there are so many other factors to consider that I wouldn't lose any sleep over this detail.

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