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Unique Urls


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#1 bdtech1

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 10:37 PM

Hi

I am new to SEO and I am getting mixed opinions regarding unique URLs. Our website is currently using pre-determined URLs that are generated through our web server.

My question is how important is creating unique URLs for all web pages on our site. Since we are using a pre-determined URL would it be beneficial to add our keywords or product detail to the end of the URL?

Thanks for all of the advice.

Beth

#2 qwerty

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 10:42 PM

Welcome to HR, Beth hi.gif

Whether you put keywords into the URLs or not, they have to be unique. If you save one document with the exact URL of another, it's just going to overwrite the older page.

That being said, there is apparently some benefit in having keywords in the URL, but I don't think it's much. If you can get your server to automatically generate URLs that happen to include a keyword or two, I'd say it's worth doing for new pages, but not to rename older pages that are already indexed.

#3 bdtech1

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 10:58 PM

QUOTE(qwerty @ Nov 1 2007, 10:42 PM) View Post
Welcome to HR, Beth hi.gif

Whether you put keywords into the URLs or not, they have to be unique. If you save one document with the exact URL of another, it's just going to overwrite the older page.

That being said, there is apparently some benefit in having keywords in the URL, but I don't think it's much. If you can get your server to automatically generate URLs that happen to include a keyword or two, I'd say it's worth doing for new pages, but not to rename older pages that are already indexed.


Thanks for the info qwerty:

So adding additional information to the end of our URL really would not beneficial to a search engine correct?

The problem with our URLs is similiar to the example below:

(company name.com)/products/productdetail.asp.id=abcd (abcd)being our unique identifier for the product on this page.

Would it be helpfule to add a keyword to the end of this? For example:

(company name.com)/products/productdetail.asp.id=abcd.DIR-655 (DIR-655)being the product part# from the mfg directly?

Any suggestions would be helpful as well?

Beth

#4 qwerty

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 11:06 PM

That's only going to help you (and only help a little, remember) if people are searching on the part numbers. My guess would be that if red lederhosen happens to be product number X9087RL, you're going to have more success tacking "red-lederhosen" onto your URLs than you would with X9087RL.

#5 bdtech1

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 11:31 PM

QUOTE(qwerty @ Nov 1 2007, 11:06 PM) View Post
That's only going to help you (and only help a little, remember) if people are searching on the part numbers. My guess would be that if red lederhosen happens to be product number X9087RL, you're going to have more success tacking "red-lederhosen" onto your URLs than you would with X9087RL.



Thanks for the information I really appreciate it.

Beth

#6 Randy

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 10:22 AM

As a quick note, you should be aware that if you're changing the URLs of an existing site you should expect to experience some pain if you start changing all of your URLs. All you can hope to do is control how whether the pain lingers on for weeks or months by using 301 redirects from all of the old page addresses to all of the new page addresses, but there is still going to be at least some pain.

If it's an existing site that already has its URLs indexed, I wouldn't recommend changing the URL structure. Especially not for the sake of getting a keyword in the URL.

#7 BBCoach

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 10:33 PM

As a programmer I'm amazed at the ignorance of people assuming the URL is anything more than a POINTER to information. A URL is just like a variable--a pointer to a value in memory/storage. Common! Nothing new has been invented when it concerns searching for text. It's all in how it's cataloged/indexed. Is your page RELEVANT to a search phrase? Are there other web sites that point to that page making it a SOURCE for accurate information? Don't change URLs because you read something. Especially if it has to do with Ebay or some lame affiliate network marketing crap! Changing URLs is changing the POINTER!!!!!!!!!

Build your web site taxonomically and you won't have problems with SEs. Hello!!!! Has anyone ever heard of a library or the Dewey Decimal system? Think. How do HUMANS catalog information? Hmmmm? Didn't HUMANS create computers and the programs that run them? Make it easy for the SEs to automatically do this (without human intervention and their human influenced groupings because that's what they're striving to achieve) and you'll have success! Get past the gimmicks! Placing keywords in the URL is ABSOLUTELY A WAIST OF TIME. On top of that you won't be able to search for your products easily. As an example, my clients can type in their item numbers and they always appear in the top THREE. If you don't know why that's important, then go ahead and do your keyword enriched URL schemes. BTW my primary client made $65K in the last 7 days from SE referrals, in addition that's 10+ years of analyzing log files and SE ranking results talking to you.

Edited by BBCoach, 02 November 2007 - 10:45 PM.


#8 Jill

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 11:02 PM

appl.gif BBCoach!

#9 qwerty

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 11:06 PM

QUOTE
Placing keywords in the URL is ABSOLUTELY A WAIST OF TIME.

I wouldn't go that far. Here's Matt Cutts in August of last year:
QUOTE
Notice what I did with keywords. I carefully chose keywords for the title and the url (note that I used “change” in the url and “changing” in the title). The categories on my post (”How to” and “Linux”) give me a subtle way to mention Linux again, and include a couple extra ways that someone might do a search–lots of user type “how to (do what they want to do).” I thought about the words that a user would type in when looking for an answer to their question, and tried to include those words in the article. I also tried to think of a few word variations and included them where they made sense (file vs. files, bash and bashrc, Firefox and Mozilla, etc.). I’m targetting a long-tail concept where someone will be typing several words, so I’m probably in a space where on-page keywords are enough to rank pretty well. I don’t need anchor-text for “linux default printer” or similar phrases; in the on-page space, I’d recommend thinking more about words and variants (the “long-tail”) and thinking less about keyword density or repeating phrases.


#10 BBCoach

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 11:59 PM

Qwerty to be nice you're 100% wrong on this point. My primary client tried to follow that path and I was able to stop them partially. The marketing group insisted that it'll work and forced the programming staff to create some "test links." Guess what. Not one of their test links has been indexed/cataloged in the past 10 months. No, not one link is ranked for keyword searches. That's working with 30,000+ products and not one keyword stuffed URL has produced SE referral results.

Has Google and others crawled those pages? Yes. Many times, but not one link is to be found in the top 5 SEs. I don't care what Matt says in regards to this. I understand intimately (programming wise) how things work and have evaluated the log files versus the actual page ranks and without a doubt and can confidently and unequivocally state that the URL is NOT A SOURCE FOR KEYWORDS. IT'S A POINTER TO THE INFORMATION!!!!! And it works with a single number or a unique text page name. What matters most is it's taxonomy or categorization. Period! And all of the SEs are moving more in that direction. Read the patents and how HUMANS are helping the SEs understand phrases and you'll see the direction. However, understanding how to find information in a library will do you just as well.

#11 qwerty

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 12:06 AM

There's simply no reason it has to be analogous to the Dewey Decimal system. Search engines are designed to determine which documents are relevant to queries, and they will make use of just about any legitimate indicator of that relevance. That is, they'll look for words on the page, in particular tags, in links pointing to the page, and yes, even in the URL. Why? Because they can. If that information exists, why wouldn't they put that information to use?

#12 BBCoach

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 12:12 AM

I can PROVE it doesn't work. Period. No referrals = No sales. All referrals are to product pages NOT to the "test links." Period. Can you prove otherwise with your sites?

#13 qwerty

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 12:21 AM

No, I can't, but I doubt I'd be satisfied with whatever evidence you offered. There are too many other variables involved in these things. What I have to offer is sensible advice from a Google engineer, and while some people accuse Matt of spreading FUD, I can't imagine what he or Google could possibly gain by telling people this if it were false.

#14 BBCoach

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 12:42 AM

Why not? I'm not making stuff up and will send you the gigabytes of log files to prove what I'm saying. I also have a Gneer friend since their inception. He doesn't help much but to confirm programming logic.

Logically speaking, the URL is nothing more than a POINTER in memory/storage to information. Simple that's what it's function is. Nothing more. You've said many times in this forum that the SEs index a PAGE. How do you think they get there? With pointers (URLs). That's how. And it's my assessment that it's meaningless to keyword stuff pointers from a programmer's perspective and can prove I'm right with the log files.

#15 qwerty

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 12:49 AM

Yes, a URL is a locator. What is it about the fact that it's a locator that requires it be nothing more than a locator? And I never mentioned keyword stuffing. The presence of a keyword is not stuffing.




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