Google Loving Keywords in URLs Now?

Aug 27, 2009 • 8:34 am | comments (9) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

A WebmasterWorld thread has new discussion around how important it is to have keywords in the URL. This is a very old SEO topic, but new chatter in the industry is saying how keywords in the URLs actually make more of an impact in your rankings in Google today, more than it has in a long time.

Now, keywords in the URL can mean two things (well, more than two, but we will discuss only two) or both of these two things. There is the domain name, i.e. and there is the filename, i.e. There is always a benefit to getting a short keyword specific domain name, because people link to you by your name (i.e. people link to my web development shop as RustyBrick and not Web Development because the name is RustyBrick). But the actual words in the URL, just looking at the URL component and not the links you get, how much does that impact your rankings at Google?

Many are of the opinion that Google is really looking more at the keywords in the URL. In fact, Matt Cutts surprised me when he mentioned that they do help in his WordCamp presentation. And now Tedster, the WebmasterWorld administrator, said:

Certainly keyword-in-url seems to be dialed up rather high right now as a ranking factor.

Do you agree? Take my anonymous poll:

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Patrice Albertus

08/27/2009 01:00 pm

Maybe due to Google strategy on brand issue. Showing keywords based URL on algorithm gives better chance brand to come on top from rankings, but also SEO oriented URLs to perform on other generic query... URL becoming brands ...

Michael Martinez

08/27/2009 07:39 pm

The whole "Google loves domain names" myth has distracted the SEO community for years from the fact that any place in the URL works perfectly fine for keywords. Even Matt Cutts has pointed out that domain names weren't getting any special boost. The people making this fuss now should be knocked up side the head for ignoring reality for so long.

No Name

08/27/2009 08:32 pm

I always try to use keywords in my urls. Seems to work well

Shadab Malik

08/28/2009 05:53 am

I have been doing a lot of research on various verticals lately and have found ranked pages to all be keyword based. More than anything I have noticed that their reason to rank is keyword based URL.


08/28/2009 09:41 am

woo first post! hi all I recently made a big change on the site I manage, I switched a default directory to make it more relevant to the terms we target, a test if you will, though a risky one with millions of visitors per month. This also coincided with a lot of housework and consequent 301's. Our rankings were hit hard though it hasn't taken as long for us to bounce back as planned and those pages highly relevant to the terms seem to be benfiting from the new directory structure with stronger rankings than previous. Our domain does not contain keywords though I'd argue a decent directory structure with relevant keywords 'can' help gain better results and flaunt those more relevant pages hidden deep inside your site. I see relevant directories as highways to relevant content...especially under a brandname URL.


08/28/2009 04:19 pm

user friendly links are important...

No Name

08/28/2009 10:34 pm

I think is normal to love the keyword domain names. If i choose Phpzoo as domain name i believe is normal for my site to have a boost in search engines for PhpZoo not for pizza, as name, brand.

diarmuid ryan

08/30/2009 07:38 pm

i have found that domain name keyword inclcusion is more effective than in other part of url's..

Christel Murray

09/04/2009 02:03 pm

Again, this is back to the basics. It all has to do with relevancy. Topic - URL - Title - Description - H1, Content, etc. You get the point...

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