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Site Url Structure
Posted 03 February 2009 - 02:39 PM
I'm thinking that from a usability standpoint, that's pretty bad. I'm also thinking that improving the link structure might also give me an extra push in the SERPs. I'd change it to something simple like example.com/category/item
Here's what's stopping me - I'd have to 301 all my old urls (only about 100) and I think I'd take a hit with the SERPs while the SE's adjusted to my new url structure. Right now I don't think I can afford not having normal traffic.
Has anyone gone through this and came out better off? How important is my site's url structure? I can't seem to find out much on the subject, so either it's not talked about much, or I'm using the wrong words to find it.
Thanks for reading!
Posted 03 February 2009 - 02:52 PM
Are those longer URLs now getting indexed? And do they rank for your targeted phrases?
If so, why are you considering the change? Hopefully not for change's sake, or because you think the text in the URL is going to have a huge bearing on your rankings.
Most times if there's not a problem with the URLs getting spidered and indexed, and if you don't have a pretty solid reason for making the changes, you're asking for trouble by changing them. It ends up being a useless exercise that causes at least a little pain in the process of getting the new pages indexed and ranking again.
On the other hand, if you have a good reason for the change, you definitely want 301 redirects in the picture to help speed up the relearning process for the search engines. When I have a need to do these kinds of things I tend to try to plan them well in advance, and implement them during the site's down season. Doing it during a high season can be quite painful indeed if you end up confusing the engines and missing out on a fair percentage of your normal traffic for even a few weeks.
Posted 03 February 2009 - 03:34 PM
I am considering the change mainly because I think having simpler urls would benefit my users. But I'm also adding into the equation the potential ranking benefits of changing my url structure. You see the source of my issue is the fact that I'm not sure if changing the structure would actually benefit me in the SERPs or not, and if it's worth the interruption. I'm leaning more toward not changing them, but I was curious what the consensus was on the subject.
Any examples off the top of your head when a url change is necessary other than domain name change?
Posted 03 February 2009 - 05:02 PM
Sure. When the URLs are not being spidered and/or indexed and thus don't rank for their terms. Which was a possibility since you have 4 variables in the url.
I won't discount the user benefit. It's there and a real one for those users who actually pay attention to the URL address. But if you're going to do it I'd caution you to plan it out and implement the changes during your absolute low traffic season. Less potential for pain that way.
Posted 03 February 2009 - 06:49 PM
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