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Avoid URL Mistakes I Have MADE

Today's post is about URLs as part of our holiday series on improving your website SEO (Search Engine Optimization.)

Howdoor72What is a URL?  URL is the address to a specific website or a page on the Internet. It is just like the address of your house. The URL tells the Internet how to visit your website.





Using my website as an example:

The URL for my website is

Each page has its own URL.
Below is my main Jewelry page...with the URL:

Now you know what a URL is.

Google says: "A site's URL structure should be as simple as possible. Consider organizing your content so that URLs are constructed logically and in a manner that is most intelligible to humans (when possible, readable words rather than long ID numbers).

Below is a page from my website with art jewelry bracelets that have numbers for the URL. This is NOT good SEO by current standards. Learn from my mistakes. Improve for the future.

If you CLICK ON ANY IMAGE a page opens up (as  shown in the photo below.)

Look at the URL(below). It is a series of numbers:  4-10-07. 

This is exactly what Google says NOT to do.


I should have given it a URL like wasabipeas.
Even better it should have been wasabi-peas-bracelet.

My website had a lot of jewelry pages that are numbers rather than words from years ago when I didn't know any better, but what astounds me is that I still see websites with numbers for a URL. 

DO NOT USE LISTS OF NUMBERS for the URL of pages on your website. Google doesn't like it.

Below are the BEST PRACTICES FOR URLs on your website.

  • Consider using HYPHEN punctuation in your URL.
    The URL http://www.example-website.com/wasabi-peas-bracelet.html is much more useful than http://www.example.com/greendress.html.
  • Use hyphens (-) instead of underscores (_) in your URLs. Underscores are hard to see and cause mistakes. 
  • Use only lowercase letters. Using only lowercase helps avoid mistakes.
  • Use four to five keywords relevant to your site and the specific page. http://www.example-website.com/wasabi-peas-art-jewelry-bracelet.html

While 10 years ago short URLs were recommended this is no longer the case. Most people are cutting and pasting URLs. The benefit of better SEO with a descriptive URL outweighs the benefit of a short URL.

Below are Google videos about URL related to searches on your website.

Underscores vs. dashes in URLs 

Is it better to have keywords in the URL path or filename?

This is answered in the next video "Does the position of keywords in the URL affect ranking?"

Does the number of sub directories in a URL affect its ranking? 

This next video offers an answer:

This post was updated on July 2, 2022, to provide current links.