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— Apr 21, 2015 —

A small change from Google shows why URL Design is important

Whilst reading a little bit more around the launch of the mobile-friendly algorithm update from Google which rolls out today, I came across an article on “Better presentation of URLs in search results”.

On mobile search results, rather than displaying the URL sting in green below the blue link showing the title of the page, along these lines:

www.google.com/about/company/history

The structure is now being displayed more in the fashion of a breadcrumb, using the website name rather than the domain, along with page titles:

Google > about > company > history

Although this looks like a tiny, aesthetic change, the underlying implication is that we should always be designing for humans, not for search engines.

Google’s search algorithms are constantly evolving to help human beings find the the things that are most relevant to them. This small change is just another one of those indicators, which has quickly followed the mobile-friendly algorithm update which rolls out today.

Your site structure should be easily understood by humans. This means you should have designed the hierarchy of your content in a way that is logical for human beings to follow. Search engines will become more sophisticated over time and they will look to rank human-relative patterns more highly than those trying to ‘play the system’.

If you’d like to read a little more on URL design, I recommend “URL Design” by Kyle Neath.

Design and build for humans, not machines.