View Full Version : Keywords in URL
06-03-2004, 05:18 AM
According to you why does google highlight the keywords in the URL when a searched keywords do appear in a URL?
I did a little experience some days back and noted these interesting facts. I would like to have your expert views on that.
I made a search for a two words keyphrase
In the SERPs google highlighted the keyword(s) in the URL. some URLs contained only one of the two keywords and some both. interestingly google did not return the domain name that was made of the two keywords together.
I then looked at the concerned site and notice that it was a single page site with no optimization at all, ie the keywords that i was searching appeared only in the domain name and nowhere else on the page nor in the meta's.
Which means that having the keywords only in the URL is not does not help. But does this mean that having the keywords in the URL AND the meta's + on page help?
can someone shed some more light on this please?
Nice long awaited forum, thanks Danny Sullivan.
06-03-2004, 07:58 AM
Google highlights the searched words in the URL only if those words are present in the lowercase in that URL.
If the searched words in the URL starts with a capital letter or some or all of the letters of that word are in the capital letters then Google wont highlight them.
For example search for Politics in google.
It highlighted the word politics in the first result and other results where all the letters of the word politics are in lower case.
It has not highlighted the word POLITICS in the second result as all the words are in capitals.
It is just a bug in Google.
>>>Which means that having the keywords only in the URL is not does not help. But does this mean that having the keywords in the URL AND the meta's + on page help?>>>>>
Having the keywords in the URL and meta tags may help a bit. Ranking not only depends on these things. It depends on hundreds of on-page and
off-page factors like incoming links, Anchor text in the incoming links, keyword density etc.
Hope that helps
06-03-2004, 08:10 AM
the SERP highlighter is an external program independant of the search algorithm.
keywords in the URL do matter a bunch in an indirect sense since they make it really easy to get optimized inbound text links.
06-03-2004, 09:28 AM
Keywords in the URL is like having compliant code! A step in the right direction, but not necessarily the war winner.
It can't hurt!
06-03-2004, 10:03 AM
also having your keywords in the url improves clickthrough rates.
with some ppc ads on google having the right url can be the difference between a money maker and a failing ad.
06-03-2004, 12:02 PM
All things in moderation - I like to use keywords in the URL (not necessarily the domain name) but I only do it when there is also a clear benifit to organisation, as well.
The top can be full of keywords, but does not look spammy. It's obvious that the bottom is designed to be full of keywords without regard to organisation. There is no legitimate reason to have a sub-directory called "in" for example.
I know I would not have a problem as a consumer clicking on the first, but would avoid the second unless there was no other choice, and I'd still think twice about it.
06-06-2004, 01:35 PM
I know I would not have a problem as a consumer clicking on the first, but would avoid the second unless there was no other choice, and I'd still think twice about it.Ian, you make a good point about organization of Information Architecture, however, I don't agree about the look of the printed URL simply because it is unknown if users pay much attention to it. SEO's do because they have an interest in that data. It would have been great if the two recent surveys about how users used SE SERPs gathered this info as well.
It has been proven that branding can be done using PPC ads, IMO, it still hasn't been proven, with data, that users pay much if any attention to the printed url. IMO, even if they do, it would be less effective than titles or descriptions/snippets which, IMO, most decisions to click are based on. Another interesting user survey would be if - in a url is perceived by users in the same way an _ is. I've never heard anyone including SEO's say that _ are bad for branding. What's the difference to a user who most wouldn't know there are possibly optimization gains from hyphenated phrases in urls.
Authors have also started to use - over _ possibly for SEO reasons but there are also usability issues associated with _ in underlined text links. Many assume - are used only for SEO, IMO, that isn't always the case. IMO, often SEO's don't like it because they don't use that technique and therefore use the branding argument to justify not using the technique.
According to the recent surveys many users never go past the first page, it is not uncommon for the first ten on google to have several hyphenated domains or filenames, that being the case if users ignore or skip them wouldn't that defeat the purpose of using hyphenated domains and filenames?