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Google: No Benefit to An Artificially Flat URL Structure

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Google’s John Mueller says there’s no benefit to having an artificially flat URL structure compared to one that shows directory depth.

The number of slashes in a URL is by no means an indicator of how important a page is, or how likely Google is to surface the page in search results.

This topic is discussed during the Google Search Central SEO hangout recorded on March 26.

A site owner submits a question about URL structure asking Mueller his thoughts on short URLs versus URLs that show directory depth.

Here is his response.

Google’s John Mueller on URLs With Directory Depth

As it relates to directory depth in URLs, the site owner is of the understanding that it’s not a bad thing to show users where they are in a site.

Mueller agrees with that presumption, saying “Yes, absolutely.”

The URL structure of a site is something that can be used however the site owner prefers, Mueller says:

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“So if essentially the URL structure that you have on your site is something that you can use however you want. Google does not count the number of slashes in your URLs and say: “oh this is like five levels down therefore we will not show it as visibly in search.””

It’s not necessary to have an artificially flat URL structure. That refers to a structure where it looks like every page is one click away from the home page, when in reality they may be several levels deep.

The fewer clicks it takes to get to a page from the home page is a signal to Google about how important the page is. But there’s no way to fabricate that signal with a flat URL structure.

“You don’t have to have kind of an artificially flat directory structure. So from that point of view, if you have a directory structure that users can recognize and where you can tell that sometimes people are like even typing in the URL, or copy and pasting parts of a URL together, I think that’s perfectly fine. There’s no need to hide that kind of URL structure from users by doing URL rewriting or anything like that.”

Google treats URLs as identifiers of content, not as a way to understand site structure. That’s what Google’s web crawlers are for.

It’s completely up to the individual site owner whether they prefer a flat URL structure or one with depth. It will not help or harm a site by going either way.

“For the most part we treat URLs as identifiers of content. We don’t try to understand the site structure based on the URL. So essentially setting up your URL however you want is our recommendation there. It’s definitely not the case that you need to artificially make it look different.”

Hear the full question and answer in the video below:

Searchenginejournal

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GOOGLE

Google Home App Gets an Overhaul, Rolling Out Soon

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Google Home app

Google refreshes its Home app with a slew of new features after launching a new Nest gear. This makes it faster and easier to pair smart devices with Matter, adds customization and personalization options, an enhanced Nest camera experience, and better intercommunication between devices.

This revamped Home app utilizes Google’s Matter smart home standard – launching later this year – especially the Fast Pair functionality. On an Android phone, it will instantly recognize a Matter device and allow you to easily set it up, bypassing the current procedure that is often slow and difficult. Google is also updating its Nest speakers, displays, and routers – to control Matter devices better.

Google Home App New Features

  • Spaces: This feature allows you to control multiple devices in different rooms. Google has listed a few things by room: kitchen, bedroom, living room, etc., although it’s pretty limited right now. Spaces let you organize devices how you see fit. For instance, you can set up a baby monitor in one room and set a different room’s camera to focus on an area the baby often plays. With Spaces, you can categorize these two devices into one Space category called ‘Baby.’

Google Home app Spaces

  • Favorites: This one is pretty self-explanatory. It allows you to make certain gears as a favorite that you frequently use. Doing so will bring those devices into the limelight within the Google Home app for easier access. 

Google Home app

  • Media: Google adds a new media widget at the bottom of your Home feed. This will automatically determine what media is playing in your home and provide you with the appropriate controls as and when needed. There will be song controls if you listen to music on your speakers. There will be television remote controls if you’re watching TV. 

Google probably won’t roll out this Home app makeover anytime soon. But you can try it for yourself in the coming week by enrolling in the public preview, available in select areas.

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