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What are friendly URLs?

5th August 2015

Have you heard of friendly URLs before? If not, you may have heard of one of the synonyms: semantic URLs, clean URLs, RESTful URLs, user-friendly URLs, or SEO-friendly URLs.

This is essentially a tidier URL - in most cases, a website will have a URL that looks something like this: yourdomainname.co.uk/index.php?page=contact. This looks a bit messy with the index.php?page= part, so this can be removed to display a much cleaner yourdomainname.co.uk/contact.

Here's some more examples for you to reference to:

Non-semantic (unfriendly) URLSemantic (friendly) URL
http://example.com/index.php?page=name http://example.com/name
http://example.com/index.php?page=consulting/marketing http://example.com/consulting/marketing
http://example.com/products?category=2&pid=25 http://example.com/products/2/25
http://example.com/cgi-bin/feed.cgi?feed=news&frm=rss http://example.com/news.rss
http://example.com/services/index.jsp?category=legal&id=patents http://example.com/services/legal/patents
http://example.com/kb/index.php?cat=8&id=41 http://example.com/kb/8/41
http://example.com/index.php?mod=profiles&id=193 http://example.com/profiles/193

What are the benefits of using friendly URLs?

There are slight search engine benefits to be had by using semantic URLs. It's worth noting that you do not need friendly URLs in your website architecture for Google to index the site successfully, but they can be beneficial, and we do recommend implementing them whenever possible. The difference between using them and not using them isn't huge, but benefits can be seen when the URLs are keyword rich.

The biggest benefit really is for the user - it's much easier on the eye without the gumpf in the middle, and is also much easier to directly access if you have been provided with the link verbally - this is known as "passing the radio test".

If you'd like to know more about friendly URLs or want to know if we can implement them for you, please contact our web team on 0845 094 6108, or drop us an e-mail to [email protected]