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URL Restructuring and 301 Redirecting

There are only 3 things you have direct control over that help entice users into clicking on your organic listing on the search results page.

1. The title of your page
2. The meta description of your page
3. The URL of your page

Most of the time, Google will not change your page title. Many times now, they will change your meta description to something that will better assist the user. On the other hand, they will never change the URL they show in green.

If your URL is long, it will appear with ellipses in order to truncate it into something useful for users.

Google explained in one of their training videos that they see more clicks on SERP pages that have shorter URLs than on long, convoluted ones. They also mentioned that users tend to click on pages that have keywords in the directory structure rather in the page name.

Let's look at an example to better understand this.

1. This is the URL of a diamond engagement ring page:

2. This could be the same page with a different URL:

Both pages go to the same information, but according to Google's own findings, they say that #2 is more likely to be clicked.

This could be because the URL is shorter, or it could be because the / is an easier word separator. Whatever the reasoning, it's a good suggestion to build your website with.

Although, don't simply restructure your website without careful consideration and making sure to 301 redirect all the old URLs to the new versions.

If you do proceed with this restructuring idea, you should do it slowly over several months and track how the modifications affect your organic ranking and clicks. If you do a major restructuring all at once, you are more likely to make a mistake and distort your entire organic ranking.

Just be careful with all URL rewriting and 301 redirecting. You could accidentally put yourself out of business.
AT: 03/15/2011 12:18:14 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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