Which SEO friendly URL is better?

Apologies if I’ve missed the answer in the numerous posts on SEO friendly URLs…

Say you have an ecommerce website selling boxes and they are sub-categorized by size. Using SEO friendly URLs you might have (as suggested in the FAQ):


Assuming you can control the generation of the SEO friendly URL aliases and if you are trying to target the keyword phrase large boxes would you be better off with:


Any light anyone can shed on this would be much appreciated.


I would like that Home directory with hyphen or underscore maintaining.

Go for large-boxes.html, try one level pages. But what really matters most is the relevancy of the content

Don’t confuse EXACT MATCH URLs with EXACT MATCH DOMAINs and how the Search Engines rank them - two different things…

Well I thank you for your time and input.

First, Google uses about 200 variables to determine which pages it shows you. Whether it likes exact keyword URLs is anybody’s guess. Once again, try it with large boxes and you’ll see it doesn’t really matter that much. Also, I’d be slightly wary of what people say here, most of the people commenting on here have no real practice of SEO or more generally marketing - mind you I’m not claiming I have more then them. So when somebody says “Google likes exact keyword match URLs” - let them show you some proof, you know facts - my facts are the large boxes example, and you should see that this statement isn’t quite as correct as you make it sound.

Second, whether something looks better than something else is subjective (this is with regards to your proposed menu structure), so you can’t base your decision on this. It may look better to you, but what really counts is whether it’s clear for all your website users.

Third, what you write in your menu is not the same as the URL structure. But having said this, I’d still include box in the menu, if not as visible text at least as part of the title attribute.

Forth, while Google uses above algorithm, it’s recommended to try and optimise your site for the singular and plural term. That’s why I combined both singular and plural terms in the URL. Furthermore, combining the attribute and the product as the document name comes quite natural and your category/product might not be as straight forward as boxes/box but something like cooking/hob. While you might be able to accommodate for these things right now, the way I suggested to structure it makes it slightly more future-proof.

Finally, I’m out of this thread. I’ve said more than enough and more than I should’ve, I unsubscribe and won’t answer to any further comments/challenges/questions regarding this, not here and not per PM - I wasted enough time on this already.

The point was that if Google likes exact keyword match URLs, then wouldn’t you only be matching boxes large and not large boxes.

If that’s not the case you’d be no worse off using http://www.example.com/boxes/large.html :confused:

From a menu perspective, wouldn’t:


[INDENT] Small
look better than


[INDENT] Small Box(es)
Large Box(es)[/INDENT]

you actually have large and boxes in the url, so I don’t see your point.

Google actually utilises a stemming algorithm.

Google has a big thesaurus, and is good at recognising words of the same derivation … so it will know that box, boxes, boxed and boxing are all related words (although that may not be quite true in this case!), and unless someone does an “exact match” search, it will not make a massive distinction between “box” and “boxes”.

So if Google likes exact matches, the url of http://www.example.com/boxes/large-box.html wouldn’t be any good for large boxes?

Remember to report back and let us know what you find!

that sure looks like english, but i’m afraid it doesn’t make any sense without further explanation

what do “silos manner” and “Directory Silos Method” mean?

URL should be in silos manner or it is better to use Directory Silos Method for URL’s.

The theory behind this is that deeply nested content can be considered as far-removed from the main page - and therefore considered lower-value.

I’ve heard the same thing but as of now I haven’t seen any actual proof to this “hypothesis”.

We’ve actually taken the approach of removing the use of nested URL heirachy, and have gone for a much flatter system (hyphenated). The theory behind this is that deeply nested content can be considered as far-removed from the main page - and therefore considered lower-value. This doesn’t mean removing sub-folders altogether from a URL, where they make sense - use them, but if you can construct the same URL using a flatter system that reads well and doesn’t disrupt your information architecture, then it’s worth trying. As for actual impact on rankings/traffic - the jury is still out.

So based on that approach, i’d go with #2.

IMHO go for the first one
I recon that search engine may put “boxes and large” as two separate keywords and together they may not be so power full like phrase large-boxes

I would go for the first one. I don’t think that it will make much difference for SEO - you’ve got the keywords in the URL, and if your title, meta description, headings and maybe breadcrumb trail all reflect the page contents and position in the structure, that just about covers it.

The reason I would go with the first one is all about usability. It makes it easier for people to construct and reconstruct URLs if they follow a hierarchical structure rather than concatenating words together. In particular, it makes it easy for someone to go ‘up’ a level to the parent page - some people prefer to do this (where possible) by manipulating the URL rather than using site navigation, which is often poor.

welcome dear!!
google appreciate the exact keyword URL , if it is two or three word Long then use hyphen instead of Underscore!!

I knew that, still it’s a good example and I’d still go with my suggestions, whatever keyword and category combination you’re using. I’d probably prefer my second suggestion, with the combination of plural in the directory and singular in the file name, if that makes sense in your case.

Google like exact keyword match URLs, that’s not in any doubt.