I have questions about categories. Is it okay to have child (nested categories)?

For example:

Software Development
-- Web
---- Java Script
---- PHP
---- HTML 5
-- Low level
---- C 
---- Assembly

What impact will regarding SEO and search engines?
In this case there three categories are just wrappers that won't contain any posts Software Development, Web and Low level.

How will such structure of categories affect SEO?


For example URL of post Hello World in following category hierarchy

 Software Development
    -- Mobile Development
    ---- Android development

Will be


For me personally it looks ugly. Development word is very redundant. But what about search engines ?

  • 2
    This answer may help: webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/74633/… As well, it recommended that you be specific, development versus web development. The latter is far better.
    – closetnoc
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 15:17
  • 2
    There were two distinct questions here. I've edited the question down tot the one which is clearly the focus here.
    – John Conde
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 15:27
  • 3
    It all depends upon your content. I found that as I develop content, I end up making adjustments to the structure. One advice I give to people is to take an old PC and create a web server and begin posting there. Practice and developing some content before going live can really help you get it right from the start. As for development, it would depend on how developed these categories end up being. I have found that I end up developing content in one area that is strong and another area that is weak enough to drop.
    – closetnoc
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 15:30
  • 2
    Also keep in mind that the broader the topic, such as development, you may find that you have bitten off more than you can chew. It can really take a lot of time to develop content. I have found that finding one focus works better. You can always offer more later. It is better to narrow the focus then broaden the focus when you near the end of your current effort.
    – closetnoc
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 15:33
  • 3
    Again, it all depends on your content. You are right about using a single term too much. Be natural. If you can, your URI should almost read like a sentence or single thought. For example, /development/web/mobile/android/. From a semantics perspective, this is almost perfect.
    – closetnoc
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 16:00

1 Answer 1


Obviously you can always have nested categories in WordPress (and most other CMSs) as well as child pages, child posts, grandchildren, etc.

If done in a non-spammy fashion, there is no real advantage or disadvantage from the pure SEO perspective...the spiders don't particularly care so long as the links work and the content is indexable. The big worry is creating a spammy-looking site that appears to abuse common keywords. As a rule of thumb I never go lower than grandchildren:

 Software Development
    -- Mobile Development
    ---- Android development <---- no lower.

and try to avoid repeating the same terms in categories (e.g. "development" above). So a good replacement for the above could be:

   -- Mobile
   ---- Android
   ---- iOS

That should handle most spam concerns.

The other reason to avoid long, nested categories is simple UX. I can remember and type yoursite.com/development/mobile/android/pretty easily but yoursite.com/software-development/mobile-development/android-development/makes me tired just looking at it. So always keep humans in mind when creating nice permalinks and the SEO benefit should follow automatically.

  • Thanks for great answer, I have one more question. What is better to use for category name not url. For example Android or Android Development of course URL will be simply android
    – CROSP
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 0:18
  • 1
    Again, it doesn't really matter to the search engines assuming all parent or grandparent terms are visible. For humans, of course "Android Development" is preferred as it makes semantic sense. This is the point @closetnoc was making, so hat tip to him for inspiring my answer.
    – JCL1178
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 4:16

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