URL Best Practices
  Based on Correlation Data

  Rand Fishkin | SMX East NYC 2009
Correlation Data Set


 10,000 Queries
 Google.com United States Only


 Range of Head, Middle & Tail Queries


 1-6 W...
Correlation IS NOT Causation




If T = Temperate in Manhattan and I = # of ice cream
vendors out, then correlation coeffi...
Are Shorter URLs Better?
As URL Length Rises, Ranking Decreases
         In Close Proportion
What About
Short Domain Names?
Domain Name Length Appears to Barely
        Matter for Rankings
      (but >11 characters may be unwise)
Are Query Parameters
      Harmful?
URLs with Query Parameters are
Less Likely to Appear in Top Results
Do Keywords in the
Root Domain Name Help?
Root Domain Names that Include
Keyword Matches are Dramatically More
    Likely to Appear in Top Results
Do Keywords in a Site's
   Subdomain Help?
Not as much as Root Domains, but there
       Appears to be Some Value
Do Keywords in the URL Path
 Make for Better Rankings?
They make Dramatically Less Difference
       than Root or Subdomain
Slightly More Sophisticated Data from
 this Spring Suggested that KW Usage in
Path has a Somewhat Positive Correlation
Are Keywords in the
Filename Valuable?
Like Path, Not as Valuable/Correlated
How About Keywords in
    Query String?
Also Not as Positively Correlated
WWW vs. Non-WWW
WWW Domains Appear More Often in
         Top Results
Is HTTP Better Than HTTPs?
HTTP Appears Much More Frequently
in Top Results, But Doesn't Seem to have
     much Correlation with Ranking
Are Fewer Folders Better?
Fewer Folders in URLs have High
Correlation with Better Ranking
Ranking URL Structures
Based on Correlation Data
Better
      http://www.domain.com/keyword
        https://domain.com/keyword
   http://www.domain.com/a/123/keyword
     ...
Shameless Plug:
www.seomoz.org/labs has awesome stuff




       Rand Online:
      Twitter: @randfish
   Email: rand@seom...
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URL Best Practices | Rand Fishkin | SMX East NYC 2009

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URL Best Practices | Rand Fishkin | SMX East NYC 2009

  1. 1. URL Best Practices Based on Correlation Data Rand Fishkin | SMX East NYC 2009
  2. 2. Correlation Data Set  10,000 Queries  Google.com United States Only  Range of Head, Middle & Tail Queries  1-6 Word Queries  Excludes Queries w/ Fewer than 25 Results  Collected Oct. 1-3, 2009
  3. 3. Correlation IS NOT Causation If T = Temperate in Manhattan and I = # of ice cream vendors out, then correlation coefficient T:I is quite positive. Does this prove that ice cream vendors cause it to be hot?
  4. 4. Are Shorter URLs Better?
  5. 5. As URL Length Rises, Ranking Decreases In Close Proportion
  6. 6. What About Short Domain Names?
  7. 7. Domain Name Length Appears to Barely Matter for Rankings (but >11 characters may be unwise)
  8. 8. Are Query Parameters Harmful?
  9. 9. URLs with Query Parameters are Less Likely to Appear in Top Results
  10. 10. Do Keywords in the Root Domain Name Help?
  11. 11. Root Domain Names that Include Keyword Matches are Dramatically More Likely to Appear in Top Results
  12. 12. Do Keywords in a Site's Subdomain Help?
  13. 13. Not as much as Root Domains, but there Appears to be Some Value
  14. 14. Do Keywords in the URL Path Make for Better Rankings?
  15. 15. They make Dramatically Less Difference than Root or Subdomain
  16. 16. Slightly More Sophisticated Data from this Spring Suggested that KW Usage in Path has a Somewhat Positive Correlation
  17. 17. Are Keywords in the Filename Valuable?
  18. 18. Like Path, Not as Valuable/Correlated
  19. 19. How About Keywords in Query String?
  20. 20. Also Not as Positively Correlated
  21. 21. WWW vs. Non-WWW
  22. 22. WWW Domains Appear More Often in Top Results
  23. 23. Is HTTP Better Than HTTPs?
  24. 24. HTTP Appears Much More Frequently in Top Results, But Doesn't Seem to have much Correlation with Ranking
  25. 25. Are Fewer Folders Better?
  26. 26. Fewer Folders in URLs have High Correlation with Better Ranking
  27. 27. Ranking URL Structures Based on Correlation Data
  28. 28. Better http://www.domain.com/keyword https://domain.com/keyword http://www.domain.com/a/123/keyword http://www.domain.com/a http://www.domain.com/a?id=keyword http://www.domain.com/a/1?id=xy&pl=keyword https://domain.com/a/b/c/d?id=xy&pl=2&tv=7 Worse
  29. 29. Shameless Plug: www.seomoz.org/labs has awesome stuff Rand Online: Twitter: @randfish Email: rand@seomoz.org Blog: www.seomoz.org/blog
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