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Title Tag And Url - When Should They Match?


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8 replies to this topic

#1 jules

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 12:00 PM

Hello HR friends,

 

I did a quick search and didn't find a thread on this, if there is one, please point me in the right direction. 

 

Title tags and URLs... when should they match closely?   Is it just a good rule of thumb to try and match them? 

 

My website is database driven in many aspects, a lot of my URL's are full of cgi crap and I think it's starting to hurt us.

 

Thanks for insight!!

Julie

 

 



#2 qwerty

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 01:04 PM

I don't have data to back this up, but I've found that, generally speaking, a URL that describes a page's content helps, but it doesn't help a whole lot. If you can do it, I think you should, but it's probably far from essential. (But personally, I hate seeing /cgi/ in a URL. It's so 1999.)

 

That being said, I wouldn't recommend actually matching the title and the URL unless you're using a CMS that generates one based on the other (and maybe strips out stop words). If both can serve to describe the content and how it fits within the structure of the site without using the exact same words, I think that's optimal.



#3 Alan Perkins

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 01:11 PM

It's not important that title tags should match URLs.  Not directy, anyway.  Indirectly, via title<->keywords<->URLs, that's a different matter ...

 

Title tags should contain (note not match, but contain) target keywords, for sure.

 

So your real question is "Is it important to have keyword rich URLs?" This debate is as old as the hills, and in my own extensive experience it hardly makes a difference. However, Google's Matt Cutts has stated it can help, and is probably one of Google's 200+ ranking signals, so therefore if you were starting from scratch then it might make sense to use keywords in URLs in a limited way. What I definitely would not do is re-do an entire site architecture that was working pretty well, just to get some keyword-rich URLs.

 

When you say your URLs are "full of cgi crap", I guess that means they are dynamic? i.e. contain lots of query parameter/value pairs (?param1=value1&param2=value2&param3 etc.)  Such URLs can be harmful, for lots of reasons (mostly to do with duplicate content, thin content, and spider traps) and it's worth addressing these issues. But the problem isn't that your URLs don't contain keywords or match the title tags.



#4 jules

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 02:32 PM

When you say your URLs are "full of cgi crap", I guess that means they are dynamic? i.e. contain lots of query parameter/value pairs (?param1=value1&param2=value2&param3 etc.)  Such URLs can be harmful, for lots of reasons (mostly to do with duplicate content, thin content, and spider traps) and it's worth addressing these issues. But the problem isn't that your URLs don't contain keywords or match the title tags.

 

Yes dynamic, for example:

http://example.com/cgi-bin/subs/subsdb.cgi?db=subs&view_records2=1&ww=1&ID=30781&n=North%20Texas%20State%20Fair%20and%20Rodeo%2C%20Denton%2C%20TX

All the events off [page removed] & all our events pages have URLs similiar...  Any further insight is appreciated.

 

Thank you for your feedback, I appreciate it.



I don't have data to back this up, but I've found that, generally speaking, a URL that describes a page's content helps, but it doesn't help a whole lot. If you can do it, I think you should, but it's probably far from essential. (But personally, I hate seeing /cgi/ in a URL. It's so 1999.)

 

I don't like the CGIs in URL either, our database is crazy huge and refreshing the technology is a daunting task.  Do you think the CGI URLs are hurtful to omptimal ranking?

 

Thanks.


Edited by Jill, 20 June 2013 - 03:28 PM.


#5 Jill

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 03:29 PM

Yes, those URLs are definitely going to cause you problems. I suggest doing a complete website redevelopment and using a newer backend CMS and/or shopping cart that is more crawler friendly.



#6 Alan Perkins

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 03:54 PM

Do you think the CGI URLs are hurtful to optimal ranking?

 

Yes, but mostly because they are causing you duplicate content and thin content issues. If I'm guessing your URL correctly (f*.net), your site has 1.7 million pages indexed in Google, "only" 50,000 of which are in cgi-bin. If that's the case, you might try getting your programmers to create a more marketing-friendly URL structure for your dynamic content.



#7 jules

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 10:00 AM

 

Yes, but mostly because they are causing you duplicate content and thin content issues. If I'm guessing your URL correctly (f*.net), your site has 1.7 million pages indexed in Google, "only" 50,000 of which are in cgi-bin. If that's the case, you might try getting your programmers to create a more marketing-friendly URL structure for your dynamic content.

 

Thank you all.  How does it cause duplicate content and thin content issues, please. 



#8 Jill

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 10:08 AM

See the causes for duplicate content in this article:

 

http://www.highranki...tent-google-346



#9 Alan Perkins

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 11:50 AM

And thin content is simply content where the size of the menus, headers, footers and other code on a page, vastly outweighs the actual content of the page, i.e. it was hardly worth the effort of Googlebot looking at it. This is especially true if the same content is available elsewhere on a bigger page (e.g. if a forum post such as this one can be viewed on its own page, that would be thin content. But viewed as one post in a page consisting of this whole thread, that's OK).






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