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URL address: Definition, Structure and Examples
What is a URL
URL (or URL-address) is a special form of individual address of a certain resource on the Internet. It can refer to the website, some particular document, or an image. The Internet user just needs to insert this code into the location bar to find the needed website, document, folder, or image. In plain language, it means the following: due to the URL address, the user gets information about where the needed information is located.
What does URL stand for? URL is an abbreviation that stands for the term Uniform Resource Locator. It contains a link to the server which is a storage of the searched resource. In general, URL meaning is the track from the server to the final gadget (which is a platform of the user’s work) that can be illustrated rather simply. The upper element is the resource server, the lowest one – the user’s device. All the points in between the two are additional servers. A URL is also a specific type of Uniform Resource Identifier (URI).
Detect non-friendly URLs
Crawl your website and find out how many URLs have length more than 100 signs
URL address has a determined structure which includes:
- method of access to the resource that is also named the network protocol;
- access authorization;
- hosts – DNS address that is inscribed as IP address;
- port – one more obligatory detail included in combination with IP address;
- track – determines the information about the method of gaining access;
- parameter – the internal information of resources about the file.
Basically structure of uniform resource locator is connected to its syntax. The most common form of using URL scheme is the http scheme. The HTTP is used to search for documents that reside on web servers:
- HTTP. The first part is the name of the scheme. Then comes a colon and two slashes (//).
- WWW or webreference. The second part is the name of the computer that hosts the document.
- :80. The third part of the URL, which is optional, is the port number. Computers have a certain number of so-called ports. The meaning of the port is that through it there are interactions of a certain kind. One supports HTTP interactions, the other supports sending mail, and so on.
- something/something.html. The fourth part is also optional. This is the path to the document we want to request. The path is a set of characters separated by slashes (/). This is very similar to the paths to folders and files on your regular computer. There is a root folder (directory), inside it, there are other folders, which, in turn, may contain other folders and files.
- ?query. The fifth part is the query string, which is also optional. In fact, the query string is some kind of data intended for a certain program to process it and return the necessary information. The query string consists of a question mark (?) Followed by the transmitted information (it completely depends on which program will process it).
The main part of the URL-address in the domain name of the website. To choose the proper one and thus to enable the effective site promotion in search systems, use our guide about domain name search before starting a business. Also, you can read Sitechecker step-by-step guide on how to make a website.
The second important part of URL structure is a “path”. Look at 2 pictures below. In the most cases people understand what URL is friendliness immediately.
So, why URL friendliness is important? We guess such URL helps to:
- Understand better what page is about;
- Navigate faster on the website;
- Memorize valuable pages;
- Share link easily.
How to get information on the URL address
Some users face problems when they try to determine URL address. The simplest method offering no obstacles is to view and copy the address directly from the location bar. Just select it and copy clicking CTRL+C. Or using the context menu choose “Copy”.
Not only the website resources have URL, but also the images, files, and folders. To get the data as for their URL address, you should click the mouse right button on the image that you are interested in and choose in the context menu the option “Copy URL images”.
If you are willing to learn the URL address of the document, take the same steps as with an image choosing in the context menu the option “Copy the link address”.
Having copied the link, you transport it to the clipboard. Further, you can use it in the new address bar to find the needed document, to send the link having attached it to the message, or to include it to the existed text in your document.
SEO friendly URLs
That’s not a big secret that all alternative search engines take into account the occurrence of keywords in URLs. The greatest impact is made by entering the address of the domain and subdomains. The smallest effect, but still very significant meaning, makes entering the path to the page and the name of the page file.
According to this, when picking up the URL for your page don’t forget to add focus keywords in SEO slug. But you should not add only the keywords into a uniform resource locator, because it can make a negative effect on your ranking. Instead of this, SEO URL has to be informative and provides some value for users. Don’t make URLs long to put all existing keywords in it.
If you have got a three, four or five words in your URL, that can be perfectly normal. As it gets a little longer, then it starts to look a little worse.
Matt Cutts, Ex-head of Webspam Team at Google
Interview with Google’s Matt Cutts
Don’t forget about URL length that means a lot for SEO. It should not be so long to confuse the user. Always check how many signs you put in it. The limit is 2 083 characters, but user-friendly one consists of 100 characters.
According to Stackoverflow, URLs over 2,000 characters will not work in the most popular web browsers.
Browser Address bar document.location or anchor tag
Chrome 32779 >64k
Android 8192 >64k
Firefox >64k >64k
Safari >64k >64k
IE11 2047 5120
Edge 16 2047 10240
In addition, search engines can highlight the corresponding URL of the page in SERP, which naturally increases the CTR of the snippet in the search results. But what does it stands for? As practice shows, it is possible to increase traffic and improve behavioral factors.
Consider using punctuation in your URLs. The URL http://www.example.com/green-dress.html is much more useful to us than http://www.example.com/greendress.html. We recommend that you use hyphens (-) instead of underscores (_) in your URLs.
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What is the best URL structure for SEO? Here are some advises:
- keep URL simple and short (URLs can also be shortened using an URL Shortener like Rebrandly);
- use hyphens to separate words instead of underscores, spaces, or any other characters to separate words;
- try to avoid uppercase letters;
Like any other concept, the URL has its own story. Today its main function is to point out the terminal server where the information is stored. Created in 1990 by the acknowledged British inventor Sir Timothy John, the URL first was represented in Geneva. In the early days, it was used to determine the location of particular files on the Internet. But the developers came to the point that URL-address can serve to give the users access to other resources.