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What is a URL? Why are URLs important for SEO?

Updated on December 27, 2014

What is a URL?

Many people ask 'What is a URL?' because they hear the internet related term often, but don't really know what it means. URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator, and refers to the address in the internet browser bar. For example, if we ask 'what is the URL for this page?', the answer would be www.squidoo.com/what-is-a-url.

This lens gives more information on what a URL is made up of, and why URLs are important when considering SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

Image credit: Amy Trumpeter

What is a URL made up of?

The Anatomy of the URL

What is a URL made up of? Some URLs can be very complicated, but this explain the structure of a basic URL.

1. The Hypertext Transfer Protocol which isn usually http:// but can also be other protocols such as telnet or FTP.

2. Website Domain.

3. Subdirectory.

4. Resource file name.

The domain, subdirectory and file names can all be customised, which is important for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

What is a URL? - YouTube Video

Time Saving Tip!

You don't have to always type the 'www' into the search bar, the address can be picked up without it. Try typing squidoo.com into the search bar.....hey presto!

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What is a URL important for?

URLs and Search Engine Optimisation

What is the best URL to use? When choosing a URL including domain names and subdomains, it is important to base them on keywords as it will be more SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) friendly. This means that you include words that people are searching for to give it 'google juice' or move your website up the google rankings. If you don't appear on page 1 in a google search, you are unlikely to be found by new visitors through search engines. So when you buy a domain, consider whether keywords are included in the URL to enhance searchability.

For example, when I choose the name for this URL, I made sure that it included the phrase 'what-is-a-url' because according to google adwords, that is what people are searching for. Hyphens are important, because they make your URL more legible, but they are not essential. I could have chosen the doman 'whatisaurl', but sometimes using hyphens helps search engines to pick up individual words.

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The URL and Search Engine Optimisation

Do you consider the URL in Search Engine Optimisation?

The URL and SEO - The Anatomy of a URL by SEOMOZ

Why are URL's Important for SEO?

Thank you for visiting 'What is a URL?' - Do leave your comments here...

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      jimporsche86 4 years ago

      I learned a lot about URL and SEO between just my first and second lens. My 1st lens is not even on the top 40 Pages of Google, I have no idea how far back it is. My second lens is on the 1st page of Google at # 5 down. I bookmarked this page as well.

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      BennyAb 4 years ago

      Iâve just started learning SEO. Your lens is a great point. Thanks!

    • bernicerduplessis profile image

      bernicerduplessis 4 years ago

      just stopping by to sit, quietly and listen.

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      mistaben 4 years ago

      Thanks for posting this, it was very informative =)