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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Google Advice: Don’t Obsess About Keyword Position in URLs

Posted by @ 8:07 pm
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The position of keywords in your website’s URL’s has always been a bit of a grey area, but Google’s Matt Cutts recently clarified the situation. He was asked whether the position of keywords in a URL has any effect on one’s Google ranking? Matt has graciously shared his answers in a video for all of us to view.

Here is an example of what the question is asking:

Is example.com/keyword/London any better than example.com/London/keyword when it comes to ranking in Google?

You can check out Matt’s video here:

Effectively, Matt says that webmaster shouldn’t obsess about the order of the words but he said having keywords in the URL does help a little bit. He warned that webmasters shouldn’t go stuffing keywords in the URL as this just looks spammy to users. He also suggests keeping the number of keywords in a URL to a minimum of 4 or 5.

Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Land took this query a bit further and asked Matt directly to clarify his answer in a few specific situations – with both existing and new websites.

Firstly, Barry asked Matt if webmaster should go back to their existing sites and change URLs without keywords to include keywords in them.

If you’ve got an existing solution that works for you, it’s not really worth going back to change your urls. It may worth considering when you’re doing a new site.

Next, Matt was asked if all news sites should make sure to have keywords in the URL.

It makes sense if a) it’s easy for you to do in your content management system, and b) the keywords are useful and descriptive–definitely don’t overdo it.

So if you’re worried about the keywords in your URL, take the advice straight from the Google master and “don’t obsess” over it. Hope this advice helps! If you have any feedback, feel free to let us know in the comments section below.



Courtney Mills Courtney is an online marketing and communications specialist at ineedhits - a leading search engine marketing firm with over 16 years experience. Courtney has been living and breathing online marketing for over 5 years. She specializes in web and communication marketing, while providing news and opinion to online marketing communities.

View Courtney Mills's profile






Discussion (3 - comments)

Good find – I have always wondered if the order of words makes any difference. Thanks for sharing

By Arthur Keller - March 23, 2009



Interesting post – I’ve never really thought about keyword order in URLs before. Always good to hear Google’s stance on the issue though.

By James - March 23, 2009



Thanks for this post, as always very useful for readers

Pension Release

By Tom Maguire - November 17, 2009




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