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The ABCs of a great URL address

6 minutes of reading
The ABCs of a great URL address
Category SEO

You may think of your website address as your domain name, but there’s more to the URL than just that. But what exactly does it mean? A great URL address gives search engines, like Google or Bing, as much information as possible about your site so that they can determine what kind of site it is, what topics it covers and how popular it has been in the past. The more informative your URL address, the more likely it will rank highly in search engine results pages and be clicked on by interested viewers.


What is the URL address?

URL is an acronym for Uniform Resource Locator. The URL specifies the location of a resource available on the web in a human-readable form and the mechanism for downloading it. First defined in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee in collaboration with the Internet Engineering Task Force, the URL made use of the domain name system and file path syntax of the time.

What elements is it made of?

The address consists of five elements, arranged in a specific order. They are: protocol, host, path, query, fragment. However, it does not have to consist of all of them, because the shortest URL can only be composed of the protocol and the domain.

Let’s start with the protocol. Its task is to define the type of resources or services. To put it simply, we see it in the form of HTTP or HTTPS (with an SSL security certificate). However, there are other protocols, including:

  • ftp – communication protocol enabling file transfer in the server-client system,
  • telnet – a communication protocol used in computer networks to support a remote terminal,
  • nntp – communication protocol for handling newsgroups, e.g. Usenet,
  • wais – a distributed text search system on remote computers,
  • gopher – a protocol that allows information to be disseminated in information systems,
  • news – global system of discussion groups,
  • mailto – a service that allows you to send text and multimedia messages,
  • irc – a service enabling conversations on thematic or social communication channels.

Next we have the host. It is a unique label assigned to the device, in other words, a domain or subdomain. The path in turn identifies the location on the server, e.g. /index.php. The query (parameter) is just a string of characters in the form of a name and value. The first query is preceded by a question mark, and the next one is added after the & sign. Parameters (queries) are used to provide information via the URL of the page. Finally, the anchor. It’s the part of the address starting with # that points to a specific element in the body.

Domain vs. URL address: differences and similarities

A domain name is the website address to which people will type in their browser when they want to visit your site. It’s important that you register your domain name before someone else does, because if someone else registers the domain before you do, you’ll be at risk for having your traffic diverted to them with no way to get it back unless you pay for it. You’ll also need to register your URL address with Google so that people can find your site when they search.

URL addresses are often used by browsers and other programs to direct people from one place on the internet to another, while domain names are used by browsers and programs as an easy way for people to know where they are going once they have typed in an address into their browser or clicked on a hyperlink.

Good practices in the spirit of positioning

What are SEO-friendly URLs?

SEO-friendly URLs are the best way to ensure that your web pages will rank well in search engine results. These addresses contain keywords and phrases that people looking for your content or products may use when searching. That’s why it’s important to create URLs with relevant, accurate text and add helpful words or phrases where they make sense. You also want to include keywords as often as you can without making the address too long or difficult to read. Avoid capital letters, numbers, special characters, and diacritics – they all make reading and remembering difficult.

Where can you create own custom URL?

Custom URLs are easy to create and can be an excellent way to stand out. All you have to do is register the domain name and then set up your hosting account. After that, you’re ready to start customizing your site with an attractive theme and content. One of the best things about a personalized URL is that it will rank higher in search engine results pages. A customized web address will also make it easier for people to find you on social media sites.

How long should my URL be?

URLs should be short enough to avoid truncating your domain name and long enough to accurately describe the content on your site. A good rule of thumb is to keep it under two lines for desktop and one line for mobile.

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What is URL rating?

A URL rating is a measurement of how well content on a website ranks in search engine results pages. It is an indication of how well optimized the site is for search engines and how high it ranks in organic results. Essentially, it’s an indicator that tells you whether or not your site will rank for keywords you’re targeting. A higher score means better odds of ranking highly in Google and Bing, which translates to more visitors to your site.

Improving your current ranking

A great way to improve your current URL’s ranking is by including keywords in the address. This can be done easily with HTML tags, which are hyperlinked words that search engines will pick up on when crawling your site. When these words are used appropriately and strategically they can help you boost your rankings with search engine results pages.

Last words

Many businesses face the dilemma of not knowing which type of URL address to use. Fortunately, there are two types that will work for any business. The first is an SEO-friendly URL and the second is a URL rating. When selecting one over the other, you’ll want to keep in mind what type of website you’re developing and what your goals are as a business. Another important point for link building strategy is how well your website’s content matches what people are searching for when they type your domain into the search engine. If you want to rank high in Google and other search engines, then consider making changes to your website’s content so that it matches keywords being searched by potential visitors.

Aleksandra Pietrzak
Curator at the National Museum in Poznań, graduate of Art History at the Jagiellonian University and Contemporary Art at the Pedagogical University of Krakow, curator of exhibitions and author of scientific and popular texts. A lover of contemporary art, literature and travel.
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