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I read on https://moz.com/learn/seo/url that google prioritizes the folder over the path/page. Which wold mean that a url such as:

coffeeshop.example/*home-brew-coffee*/**types**

would perform better than

coffeeshop.example/**types**/*home-brew-coffee*

This is something that could easily be done via a .htaccess URL redirect, but I'm wondering if it's even worth the effort?

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  • Note that on the internet, Unix, BSD--and Linux, too--they are "directories" and not the Windows concept of "folders" which is not the same thing.
    – Rob
    Mar 28 '21 at 10:06
  • I was actually using the terminology from the moz.com link. :P It refers to them as folders.
    – Robbie
    Mar 28 '21 at 10:25
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I have some issues with that moz article:

  1. The optimal URL wouldn't end in .html. In general URLs should leave out all unneccesary technical junk. Users and search engines prefer the simplest URLs possible.
  2. Keywords in the domain name are NOT the highest priority for Google. Since the exact match domain (EMD) algorithm update of 2017, keywords in the domain name no longer help rankings and may actually hurt rankings. These days it is far more important to use a domain that can be strongly branded rather than try to get a domain name with keywords.
  3. I've seen no evidence that Google prefers keywords in subdomains over folders, over the rest of the path. In fact, Google doesn't seem to use keywords in the URLs much at all for rankings right now. Keywords in URLs are mainly for usability and the indirect ranking benefits that come with that. See Are keywords in URLs good SEO or needlessly redundant?

There are also some important things about URLs which that article doesn't say:

  1. The best URLs are descriptive. Ideally a user should be able to look at the URL and know what the page is about.
  2. You should prefer short URLs when possible. Creating URLs that users can type and remember is far better than trying to fit in extra keywords.

The best URL for your page about types of home brew coffee is probably:

coffeeshop.example/home-brew
  • Since you have the keyword "coffee" in the domain name, repeating it in the path is redundant.

  • "Types" isn't a keyword for which it is important to rank. Putting it in the URL doesn't add anything. Users would expect a page about home brew coffee at a coffee shop site to list the types of home brew coffee available.

  • I wouldn't use a sub-directory at all unless you have several pages to put under it. I would only use a subdirectory if you had several pages about the subject that you wanted to group together. For example:

     coffeeshop.example/home-brew
     coffeeshop.example/home-brew/french-press
     coffeeshop.example/home-brew/drip
     coffeeshop.example/home-brew/burr-grinder
     coffeeshop.example/home-brew/dark-roast
    
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Google focuses on content, not URL. I doubt that the path to the page in the URL has any high priority from Google. In any case, Google does not talk about this in its Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide. I recommend that you focus your efforts on creating relevant content with a high level of trustworthiness.

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