I created one of my websites with the following url structure:


If I change the url map to lower case letters instead, will google reindex those pages?


It depends on the case-sensitivity of your webserver/OS.

If your website is hosted on a case-sensitive OS (like Linux) then Google will need to re-index those pages for your site to work. The old (mixed case) url would result in a 404 not found. You would need to set up 301 redirects to prevent your site from breaking and inform the search engines of the change. The same as if your page had moved to an entirely different URL.

If your OS is not case-sensitive then both URLs will work. The URLs in Google index will return a 200 (OK) as before, so as far as Google is concerned, nothing has changed. If you change all your links (as presumably you would) then maybe Google will pick up the change in URL over time, but maybe not - but neither would it really matter.

Should you change to lowercase URLs when your server is case-insensitive?

URLs are commonly all lowercase in order to avoid confusion and user error in a case-sensitive environment. If your server is not case-sensitive then it doesn't really matter from a users perspective. For consistency you might consider changing to lowercase, but it's really your decision. If there is ever a chance in the future that your site will be moved to a case-sensitive environment then changing to all lowercase now would perhaps be a good move.

It should be noted that, according to the spec, URLs should be compared in a case-sensitive manner (regardless of what your server is currently doing). Various analytics software (Google Analytics included) see URLs in a case-sensitive manner (by default). So, whilst your system might not be case-sensitive, other systems you interface with might be.

  • Thanks for your answer, I am running my website on IIS so it's not case-sensitive. So you recommend me to make this change?
    – James Ford
    Sep 26 '12 at 10:44
  • As mentioned, if your server is not case-sensitive then it doesn't really matter. However, there are possibly some caveats... I'll update my answer.
    – MrWhite
    Sep 26 '12 at 14:20
  • 1
    This is not entirely correct. Upper/lower case are different URLs, regardless of whether your server treats them as such. The same as www vs non-www domains. Sep 26 '12 at 22:27
  • @DisgruntledGoat: Which bit is not correct? I don't actually state that upper/lower case URLs are the same and that "URLs should be compared in a case-sensitive manner (regardless of what your server is currently doing)".
    – MrWhite
    Sep 27 '12 at 15:34

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