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What Is A URL Slug?

What Is A URL Slug
Source: Seobility

Date First Published: 20th November 2023

Topic: Web Design & Development

Subtopic: SEO

Computer Terms & Definitions

Difficulty: Medium

Difficulty Level: 4/10

Learn about what a URL slug is in this article.

A URL slug is the end part of the URL after the backslash that identifies the content of a webpage. For example, "" is the URL of this article and "what-is-a-url-slug.html" is the URL slug.

Although URLs themselves have little to no impact on SEO as a direct ranking factor, they can indirectly affect SEO in that they influence the behaviour of other users. Optimising a URL slug for SEO provides benefits, including increased click-through rates, an easier time building backlinks, an easier way for search engines and users to understand the content of the page, and a clear site structure.

Note: Info Icon

The word "slug" comes from journalism, which refers to the practice of using short descriptions of articles for internal purposes.

URL Slug Best Practices

Best practices for URL slugs are:

  • Include the target keywords - The target keywords should always be in the URL slug and should be relevant to the content of the webpage.
  • Keep it short - URL slugs should be kept short to ensure that it is visible in the SERPs and not shrunk. You don't have to remove all stop words as this can make sentences sound odd, but avoid including unnecessary words that are irrelevant to the content.
  • Make them user-friendly - The URL is one of the first things that people see in the search results. Make sure that the URL slug is not too complex, separate words using hyphens instead of underscores, and remove dynamic parameters, like "index.php?id=123". This can encourage more people to click through the search result.
  • Only use lowercase letters. Avoid using a mix of lowercase and uppercase letters as this can lead to duplicate content issues.
  • Remember that the URL slug is permanent. Before choosing a URL slug, make sure that it will still be relevant well into the future. Changing URLs can be bad for SEO and user experience due to the waiting time for redirects and the possibility of users landing on an error page.
  • Use unique URL slugs for every page. To avoid pages on the same topic and multiple pages competing for the same keywords, URL slugs need to be unique.
  • Avoid using special characters. Google Search Central recommends avoiding non-ASCII characters, such as emojis.
  • Avoid adding dates in the URL slug. It is best to avoid dates that are likely to be changed in the future. Unless the post relates to a specific event or day and it is absolutely necessary to add it, there's no need to add the date to a URL slug as this will unnecessarily increase the length of the URL. Adding the date could also lead to a decline in click-through rate. For example, searchers are less likely to click on an outdated post that says "2012" in the URL slug.


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