URL Structure, A Primer

URL Structure/Hierarchy

In DNS and Google Search Console, ensure account is set to manage URL variations, including http:, https:, www, and non-www sites. There should be a uniform method of delivering URLs so as not to cause duplicate content between what search engines see as distinct websites. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that sub folders are properly displayed; for example, www.example.com and www.example.com/index.jsp should both resolve to the same page and not two different URL/URI versions. Choose one format and keep it consistent.

SEO “juice” is not shared between these two sites, instead it is split. It’s important to keep the SEO “juice” within a single domain and not split between domain versions.

Additionally, URLs should contain keywords in folder structures. For example, a page dedicated to home loans within a parent web folder of loans should follow a format similar to www.example.com/loans/home-loans.jsp. In this way, the URL is an indicator of page content. If the domain instead follows the example www.example/L/HL.jsp, there are no indicators within the URL to give search engines insight into the value/use of the page.

URLs should incorporate hyphens, not underscores or spaces when using multiple words in the domain. This is true for HTML and any other file level pages, including PDF, JPG and other file types.

More info: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2010/04/to-slash-or-not-to-slash.html