Are friendly URLs good for SEO?
- Written by Luis Posselt
If you have done SEO on the past, you already know that there are two types of SEO. The first one is the On-Page SEO and the second one is the Off-Page SEO. For the moment, I won't be explaining you in deep all that about SEO because that deserves a whole training and because the time on this post is too short.
But if you want to learn more about SEO just visit this post: On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO. The keys to the Search Engine's Heaven.
So what in the world URLs has to do with SEO?
In basic terms, URLs are part of your On-Page SEO Factors that you should always optimize inside Joomla.
Now, something that I want you to have in mind is that having Friendly URLs means that you should always make a URL friendlier for your users not the Search Engines.
What I mean with this?
For instance, if I have to make friendlier URLs, I won’t be doing it for the Search Engines (Google, Yahoo, and Bing) but I will be doing it for my visitors, so they can understand and remember the URL a lot easier.
For instance check these URL examples;
Unfriendly URL - Example 1:
Friendly URL - Example 2:
If you are an expert and have some On-Page SEO knowledge you will be saying, but why do we have to make Friendly URLs only for the users and not the search engines?
Well get this example in your mind.
Example URL #1 (Unfriendly URL):
And then imagine Example URL #2 (Friendly URL):
Ask yourself, what URL you think will be easier for your users to remember?
Now having any specific URL (friendly or unfriendly) won't give you any huge advantage on the Search Engines Result Pages (that conclusion comes from my experience and many people can disagree, which is something good). But you should wonder, how I can conclude that? Well my friends this is because I can rank any page really well on the Search Engines Result Pages (SERP) regardless of how friendly the url is.
You can easily find this kind of examples everyday on Google. If you actually look at the URL Result Pages inside the Search Engines, you will see a lot of unfriendly URLs ranking on page number one in Google.
This easily tells me that any URL can rank well on page number one in Google regardless if it has a friendly URL or not.
Now I am not saying that I will make my URLs unfriendly because I am not. I just want to make my point that friendly URLs are not necessary better to rank higher on search engines.
How important is it to have keywords in a domain name?
Does keyword position have a significant impact on URL?
Is it better to have keywords in the URL path or filename?
So in conclusion, you should always optimize your URL for the User/Visitor first. I mean of course the combination of optimizing the URL for the Search Engine and the User is always good, but just have in mind that you can SEO optimize your Web Pages regardless of how Friendly you URLs are. Focus on your users first period.