Are Long URLs Spammy?

May 6, 2008 • 9:31 am | comments (6) by twitter | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

I'm sure you've seen those URLs -- The question is: is this a tactic that we consider spammy?

Not really, according to a High Rankings Forum thread. On the other hand, if it was, that may raise some eyebrows. Additionally, if you think about it, unless you change the post slug of a WordPress post, thousands of these long URLs are generated every single day. (Tip: Shorter URLs are easier to remember and rock.)

At Cre8asite Forums, the question regarding dashes in a URL is discussed. Is it better than an underscore? Back on the High Rankings discussion, dashes are the default delimiter, if that gives any indication to a widespread preference, but it really doesn't matter.

But if it comes to the actual domain name, it's a lot easier (for you) to go with one that lacks the dash to make it easier for users to remember. They're less inclined to type the dash and it takes a bit of a learning curve. I found that adjustment necessary with brand new webmaster forum Webmaster Talk.

Forum discussion continues at High Rankings Forum and Cre8asite Forum.

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Oscar R

05/06/2008 07:00 pm

Let's face it: short & semantic URL's rock. There's no reason for long one if there's no need to. Sure your computer is plenty of files but... Would you save a file in your computer with a long name?

Angelo Palma

05/07/2008 06:14 am

>>dashes are the default delimiter, if that gives any indication to a widespread >>preference, but it really doesn't matter. Google spoke so about this question: >>In general, we break words on punctuation, so if you use punctuation as separators, you're providing Google a useful signal for parsing your URLs. From PubCon in Las Vegas Google Guru Michael Wyszomierskiat, spoke about this and answer to other important question. Here the interview:

No Name

05/07/2008 06:23 am

I don't think long URL are spammy in any way. Nodoubt, a hyphen is better than an underscore sign and it is more SE friendly :)

Bjorn Solstad

05/07/2008 08:48 am

We have performed an experiment regarding the url's (click my name to see the results). Actually the results we have seen is surprising. What surprises most is the fact that Google ranks a document based on keywords in the url - even if the word does not appear at all in the title, metatags or the body of the document.

Michael Martinez

05/08/2008 03:36 am

If long URLs really were spammy, every blog on the planet would be banned or penalized. Some members of the SEO community are apparently confusing long URLs with the hypothetical long-hyphenated-domain-name spam signal (which Matt Cutts obliquely referred to in a blog post a couple of years ago). Having a long domain name is not a bad thing. Having more than one hyphen in your domain name is not a bad thing. Using a spammy call-to-actin as a domain name may invite some closer scrutiny from a search engine. Or, it may not matter at all.


05/15/2008 07:19 pm

The question is how long could be a URL?

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