I have a product with url http://example.com/category/product.php.

In short will come some blog articles, having urls like

  • http://example.com/category/product/article1/,
  • http://example.com/category/product/article2/

and link to the product.

Q: should i change the product url from product.php to /product/? Why? Is it not important? Why?


I prefer /product/ to product.php.

Why? Because it is not file dependent. What if you want to change the file name? Or temporarily use another page for a promotion? Because you could, assuming Apache, change which file is the default page using .htaccess, you can simply and quickly create an .htaccess page in the /product/ directory to point to any page you want as the default to override the sites .htaccess file.

You get a bit more flexibility.

Why else? Because paths hold more semantic value, they generally help search. Each URL is divided into parts from left to right. For example, domain name, path, file name, and parameters. From left to right, each URL part yields more semantic weight. And while semantic value between the path and file may not be terribly much, it is still far more helpful to give semantic meaning to the path especially in light that the file name would yield very little value in of itself. The primary reason for this is because the path has more words and the file name has only one word. That said, the path and file name is understood to have a relationship still. So using product.php is not bad, however, using /product/ is better.

As a side note, I like the idea of having the article follow the category and product. If you use something like /top ten uses for the whizzy wigg widget/, this should be supported by the category name and product name in semantic search value.

  • 1
    Is it worth changing URLs though? It is always somewhat risky from an SEO standpoint to touch existing URLs. – Stephen Ostermiller Sep 17 at 13:18
  • 1
    paths hold more semantic value - this is the most important point, where i had doubts, whether somebody beside me thinks so:) – Evgeniy Sep 17 at 13:32
  • 1
    @StephenOstermiller: this is a topic, what i can't really estimate. I think, the url change from product.php to product (without trailing slash) is not a big thing for Google. I have ever doubt, whether it needs a real redirect for this. It is technically just a file ending suppression, something like RewriteRule ^([^\.]+)$ $1.php [NC,L] – Evgeniy Sep 17 at 14:06
  • @StephenOstermiller You are right to bring up the issue of making a change on an existing site. Personally, I made the change on one site early enough that the change could easily be tolerated. However, I did not follow my own advice on one site because my filenames are fairly descriptive. I prefer putting as much semantic value in the path, and using the OPs example, that is what seems to add more value. However, with longer descriptive file names, the difference becomes smaller if not disappearing altogether. – closetnoc Sep 17 at 16:24
  • @Evgeniy I guess the real answer is six of one - half a dozen of another. Chose which one you prefer. I have found for a long time, that sites with good semantic paths and no file name perform best. However, I do not always follow that advice. One of my sites has longer descriptive file names and the site performs well enough for its purpose. It is a site for my apartments and so I do not expect a lot of traffic nor do I want to drive up too much traffic that I cannot convert. It is highly targeted for tenants looking for apartments and some tenant and landlord articles. That's it. Full stop. – closetnoc Sep 17 at 16:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.