Is there a negative SEO impact if I use non-Latin characters in my URL?

For example, suppose I want to have a page about sweets. I am targeting the keyword お菓子 which is in Japanese. Should I go for お菓子.html or use sweets.html instead?

Are Japanese characters present in Latin?

  • 1
    When you say latin, you mean ASCII? Apr 8, 2016 at 13:55

2 Answers 2


Some SEOs are wary of using these non-Latin characters in URLs because of the way it might display in certain browsers, or in certain text cases when the link is copied and pasted somewhere online. While having spammy-looking links is never a good thing, I personally think the possible benefit in search results is worth the drawback.

For example, the Japanese Wikipedia page for soccer (サッカー) might display as

<http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%82%B5%E3%83%83%E3%82%AB%E3%83%BC> or as <http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/サッカー>, depending on the browser you use.

While some SEOs will be afraid of the potential for your URLs to look spammy with strings of numbers letters and percent signs, the benefit of having the non-Latin characters show up bolded in the URL of your search snippet is worth that, especially when most browsers are displaying the original characters anyway.


  • 2
    Can you bring relevant information from your Here's a link link into the answer body as a citation block? It will be subject to link rot in the future, and then the info will be lost. Apr 8, 2016 at 14:06
  • 1
    @Mindwin Every word of the post was quoted verbatim from the linked site. Apr 8, 2016 at 16:26

No, you may get more benefit by using your own language in the URL. Most search engines are smart enough to distinguish it from encoded non-Latin characters, and it does not look spammy.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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