Keywords in URLs: still a good thing # matchurl

Keywords in URLs: still a good thing # matchurl

06.Oct.2021

As you'll see in this post, there is still no reason not to include keywords in your URLs. Even though Google has said time and again that they do not use the keywords in the URL as a ranking factor anymore, we know that other search engines and social media sites definitely do.

The simplest reason for using relevant and targeted keywords in your URLs and file names is that it gets people exactly what they're looking for when they click on your link.  If someone sees linkbait with the phrase "Taylor Swift's Top 10 Red Carpet Looks"   when searching or sharing that link, he knows right away whether he wants to follow the link or not -- there is nothing more frustrating than clicking on a link only to find out it's not what you wanted.

In the past, Google didn't recognize keywords in URLs as a factor for search rankings -- but that was only one of many factors they look at when ranking your pages.  Google is constantly making changes to their algorithm, so it's hard to know exactly what goes into their rankings now... but we do know this: if someone shares your link on Twitter or Facebook or Reddit, then all of those sites consider the keyword-stuffing in the URL as a positive thing and give it more weight than previously thought.  All of these social media sites will see that you're offering something specific with that URL and help promote it accordingly!

Here are some great examples of URLs with keywords still intact (as of April 2013):

MetaFilter.com - We all know MetaFilter, so it's no surprise that the community-based news website uses relevant keywords in its URLs.  They've also included their domain name at the beginning of the URL so it's easy to remember, which is another plus.

Conde Nast Publications - It should come as no surprise that Conde Nast publications use targeted keywords in their URLs since they're obviously looking for people who are specifically searching for their content (for example, Wired.co.uk instead of just wired.co.uk).  However, many websites don't need to use specific branding and can simply go with something like: "gettysburgdailynews.com" or "factsaboutherpes.com" to make it easy for the reader to find what they want.

Metafilter.com - Metafilter is a great example of how keywords in the URL can help people discover content specific to their interests and encourage sharing.  If you're searching for something specific, whether it's information about the metric system or news on cute animal videos, you'll likely click on a link from Twitter or Facebook that leads you directly to that page -- which should be simple and useful to your needs!

TaylorSwift.com - The keyword "taylor swift" is included in the URL of her official website to make it easy for fans (or anyone looking for information about her) to find exactly what they're looking for.  It's also good branding because when people think of Taylor Swift, they can immediately remember that her website is taylorswift.com and will be more likely to visit!

Wired.co.uk - Wired UK is an excellent example of how keywords in URLs help with search engine rankings in social media sites like Twitter and Facebook in addition to Google... this site ranks in the top four spots on the first page of results when searching "wired magazine uk."  That's a lot of power from just including one or two keywords in the URL!

LinkedIn.com - Although LinkedIn is dominating the first page of search engine results for this phrase, it's still important to include your target keyword(s) in your link because nearly everyone who wants to find you on LinkedIn will know exactly what they're looking for when they see "linkedin" in the URL.  Additionally, many social media sites will place links with targeted keywords higher up on their page than those without them -- which can also help improve your rankings and increase exposure!

Reddit.com - Reddit users aren't only interested in searching for whatever content has been submitted to r/aww... if someone is specifically looking for information about getting a cat or dog from the humane society, they'll likely search for "humane society" or "animal shelter" and click on a link that leads them directly to one of these pages.  Including keywords in the URL helps people find just what they're looking for!

Metacafe.com - Metacafe is a video-sharing platform that allows users to upload and watch thousands of videos on topics ranging from gaming to beauty tutorials -- including popular categories like funny pets, fails, how-to videos, music videos, trailers, etc.  When someone submits an awesome video with targeted keywords in the title (like this one about "funny kittens"), they'll want as many people as possible to see it... which means that they should include those keywords in the URL so that social media users and search engine bots can easily find it.

Youtube.com - It's a good idea to have your target keywords as close as possible to the beginning of URLs for pages on video-sharing sites... this allows users see if their searches will be met with relevant results before clicking on a link.  However, since YouTube videos may include other information like "google" or "edu" (e.g. "viewyoursearchvideo google"),

 it's not necessary to place targeted keywords here; you could even go with something simple like: youtube-for-cats.com!

Google+ - Google+ is an excellent example of how specific, targeted keywords

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