I'm currently in the process of developing a website for a client, and we're having disagreement on the url format for the site. I am recommending he do a format such as this:


He is wanting to have everything directly off of the main page


Personally, I'm not seeing anything wrong with having the simple identifier in the URL, as it helps to separate the two varying results, but I could be wrong. Does anyone have any suggestions or advice as to which would be a better format to use and why?

P.S. There are obviously other pages on the site, but they are minimal and make sense. This is our biggest disagreement.


Matt Cutts and Yoast go over the best practices for URL structures on this page which includes two videos from Matt Cutts at Google http://yoast.com/wordpress-seo-url-permalink/


The advantage of the your recommendation is that it tells the user "we organise our site in two ways, by brand and by category". It also prevents confusion if (depending just on what you're selling) brands and categories have similar or identical names.

It also lets you create a page at siteroot/brand which contains a list of brands, and similarly with categories. If people are having trouble finding what they want then they can go to those pages and get an overview of what's available.

  • An example of a site which uses a brand page if you will as a main category page is http://www.zappos.com/d-g this page is for the D&G brand, from here you can navigate to sub categories. You also have the option to view all brands alphabetically at zappos.com/brands but no URL actually contains the word brand or category.
    – Anagio
    Mar 7 '12 at 12:21

Sorry for the late answer, but I hope this still helps you or someone.

The reasoning is simple, <brandName> is a dynamic URL slug, brand is a static URL slug.

When a slug is dynamic then all the slugs are expected to identify some dynamic resource, for example your brand, when a slug is static then it specifies a section/category/slice of the site.

Let me give you a practical example using his format:


Means you can have urls like


But you loose control of the first slug, you can no longer have


Because what if you have a category and a brand called "Bing"?


Is this a category or a brand?
It might not be likely in your case, but it is a sign of bad design (Unless you only have brands on your site).

With your way there is no possibility for such confusion


It also slices the website into parts, this usually gives way for server server optimizations as you can reduce the amount of resources to be loaded by checking the static slug.

Keep in mind, URL's should never change so it is better to make them completely future proof.

If he is still not convinced just have him look at the stackexchange URL format


Having a prefix of brand or category certainly makes it easier to perform queries, and yes there's a lot less chance of ambiguity. You might also consider having the keyword at the end of the url vs. the beginning; things to the left are generally to be considered more important. I'll give you an example:


I've seen things like that (for whatever reason), but it's easier to find the title if it's to the left.

But before you give up and go with brand and category at front, ask yourself, "will there really be conflicts?" If you sit down and map it out I think the few realistic exceptions can be worked around. A little coding and data rules might be worth not having them.

Also to throw in more complexity, what if Google changes its name to Alphabet? Or maybe BigBrother? ;) You'll want to change your URL, but you'll need a translator to persist the old urls either as a direct translate or a redirect; once a URL is out there you must assume it's referenced somewhere. You'll also need to look into the canonical metatag.

One final comment, if you use CodeIgniter or Laravel, you'll generally find that the routing options are not going to do everything you want exactly the way you want them to. I've had to do a fair amount of rewriting to get what I want..

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