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URL: Everything You Need to Know!


WHAT DO YOU UNDERSTAND BY THE TERM URL?

URL actually stands for, Uniform Resource Locator. It is something that helps in indentifying and locating different websites present in the world of the Internet. Apart from that, a URL is also used to access the database, transfer files, emails and other web-based documents

Next, you must be wondering, why is this unique address needed for a website? Here’s a scenario to help you understand that!

Think of a situation where you are a new business owner and you’ve brought up a promising website for your customers to visit. In this case, if someone wants to reach you, your company name will not be enough. You will have o give them a unique site address which when they search for on the internet, will bring up your website

HOW IS A URL STRUCTURED?

The following is the way a URL is usually structured:

1. Protocol Method

The Protocol method or scheme usually lists down the protocols to be followed by web servers when accessing a website. There are two protocol methods used for this purpose: HTTP and HTTPS

2. Sub Domain

The subdomain is the part of the main domain that is used to create and organize different parts of the main domain so that it’s identically recognizable

3. Domain

The domain name is used to indicate which company or which brand owns that website. This provides brand information to the user

4. Top-Level Domain

The top-level domain is that part of the URL which follows the domain name after the dot (.) symbol. These are the names that are stored in the domain name system and tells the user about the type of website. The examples of the Top-level domain are .com used for company, .net for network and so on

Following the structure of URL, you must also be aware that there are different types of URLs too

Types of URL

The URL is categorized into two classes:


Absolute URL

Absolute URL that tells a complete path of any location. It provides a piece of detailed path information including the protocol and domain name. It provides all the necessary detail required by the server to locate resources. Absolute URL is considered as a best practice when we are trying to refer one domain from another

Relative URL

They are shorter in length as compared to the previous one. It doesn’t specifically define the protocol and the domain that pushes the web browser of the user to believe that it refers to the same URL to which it appears. It is considered a best practice where we want to link pages on the same site

URLs are one of the most important aspects that Google Used to rank your website as the URL contains many things that can be used by search engine crawlers that they may use to rank your website

Let’s have a look at those important aspects with which you can design an SEO friendly URL

Things to be checked for your SEO Friendly URLs


1. Readability

Readability is one of the prominent factors needed to be checked in URLs. Easily readable URL from the user’s perspective is also best suited for the search engines. And if URL is easily readable by the search engines it will help you rank higher in the Search Engine Result Pages for any of the queries searched by the user. Easily readable URL also provides a clear insight into what a user is going to visit

2. URL Length

The URL length arises to be one of the top-ranking factors in Google and providing better user experience. The length that is said to be appropriate for an SEO friendly URL is up to 50-60 characters. More length will not be a case of worry and Google will also crawl that but it will hamper the user experience. The long length URL is not so easy to sharing on social media, parsing, coping and more of all this it creates some problems where we try to embed somewhere

3. Use of Hyphen or Underscore?

There has been a long debate on whether to use a hyphen or underscores in the URL. The answer is hyphen. The reason behind using a hyphen in URL is Google treats a hyphen as the word separator and on the other hand the underscore is treated as a word joiner. So, it is always preferred to use a hyphen over an underscore to create an SEO friendly URL

4. Uppercase or Lowercase?

Uppercase or Lowercase? What to use? As an SEO Expert, I would advise you to use lowercase letters in your URL as it is a best practice. The reason being the ambiguity created due to the letter case usage for Google will affect your rankings

5. Remove Bad URLs

Bad URLs are one of the most serious threats to our site that can affect the Google SERP rankings. Misleading URLs that do not redirect a user to the promised page are known as bad URLs from an SEO perspective

6. Build and Submit Sitemap

Building a sitemap and submitting it to Google is one of the easiest ways to inform it about the structure, hierarchy, and details about what pages does Google has to crawl. It will provide an idea to Google that what pages are needed to be crawled in your site. The benefits of doing this practice are the faster discovery of the new articles, crawling and indexing them quickly for a better SERP’s Rankings

7. Canonical URL

The canonical URL is a method of telling the search engines about a page that is accessible by multiple URLs or any URL that is related to multiple pages

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