URL Directory

Each web page has a URL directory where the URLs are placed hierarchically. The individual files of the website are created in the directories. Individual files could be HTML files, images, videos, or PDF documents, for example.

Preliminary considerations

It is especially advisable for webmasters to establish website structure (such as the URL directory) in advance. Doing so early on can save time and money. A website should have as flat a directory structure as possible, making it easier to crawl for search engines.

Directory names

The naming of individual directories plays an important role for search engine optimization, since certain keywords can already be placed in the directory name. File and directory names are captured by search engines and could have a positive effect on the Ranking of a page. Non-talking directory and file names such as /welcome/, /start/ or /page1 should be avoided. It is best to use keywords that appear and are relevant to a page which are useful for users and the search engine.

Example

An example of a page where software is offered is:

/softwareprodukte/software_xy_herunterladen.html

Complex IDs and parameters in the directory and file names should be avoided if possible. These can make the search engine crawler’s work difficult. Dynamic URLs that are generated automatically can also have a negative effect, since many pages are created with similar content, thereby expanding the directory structure.

URL directory depth

The directory depth is a particularly important point for search engines since search engine robots assume that files which lie deeper in the structure are less important. It must be taken into account that search engine robots stop indexing at a certain directory depth. Thus, extensive web pages are not fully crawled. Therefore, the following principle applies: the flatter the directory levels, the better. A maximum of three directories are recommended.

Example of a search engine-friendly URL directory structure:

root/
->index.html
logs/
cgi-bin/
software/offers
software/linux
software/windows
software/macos

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