Are URLs case sensitive? Does length matter when it comes to URLs? We have gathered some tips for understanding and using URLs, and we wanted to share them with you.

Do Upper and Lowercase Letters in URLs Matter?

URLs are the basis of all websites. By definition, URLs are case sensitive, and things such as a slash, for example, matter. So technically, yes, things such as lowercase and uppercase matter because they make URLs different.

If a website shows the same content, search engines will try to figure it out on their own. In these cases, it usually works out, but it is not always ideal. For example, search engines will try to crawl all URL variations that they find, making it slower for them to find other helpful content on your website. Also, when search engines find multiple distinct URLs showing the same content, they have to decide which of these URLs to keep. This process is known as canonicalization.

Another place where the URL plays a role is robots.txt. In the robots.txt file, you can signal which parts of a website shouldn’t be crawled. The robots.txt file also uses exact URLs, so if you have entries there that refer to one URL, they won’t apply to other versions of that URL.

Using internal linking to link to a compatible version makes your preference clear. In addition, adding a link rel canonical element helps to confirm while encouraging search engines to focus on that version.

In short, yes, upper and lower case matter when it comes to URLs. It is good practice to be consistent in using them, but it is not that critical for a website.

Are Shorter URLs Better than Longer URLs?

URL length does not matter, nor does the number of slashes. URLs are used as identifiers, and length is not important. However, to make monitoring easier, 1,000 characters or shorter is a good URL length.

Canonicalization is the only part of the Google system in where URL length plays a role. To review, canonicalization is what happens when Google finds multiple copies of a page on your website and has to pick one URL to use for indexing. If the Google systems find a shorter and cleaner URL, they typically choose that one. But, again, this does not affect ranking. It is purely a matter of which URL is shown in Search.

To sum it up, neither the URL length nor the number of slashes matters in search rankings. Therefore, it is good to use a URL that works for you and one that you can keep for the long run.

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Allan McNabb, COO, Internet marketing by Image Building Media

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