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Does the length of your URL matter? You better believe it!

Alex Christie

28 May 2009

As part of an ongoing research project I have been studying the distribution of backlinks to some popular sites in high volume niches. The research has uncovered some valuable findings, it has also uncovered some blatantly obvious things which seem very logical when you think about it but present themselves very nicely graphically.

The following graphic illustrates the correlation of the length of a URL and the Page Rank of that page. Before I organised the figures into something that makes sense, I logically assumed that a smaller URL is at a “higher level” and will therefore have more backlinks from other sites. My logical deductions predicted the outcome of this graph, I did not predict the classic formation of these trend lines.

URL length vs Page Rank

Correlation of URL length and Page Rank.

While this is obvious once you have considered the way sites link to each other, it is a strange way of deciding the value of a domain. It is a popular opinion that smaller URL’s are better for usability in that they are easier to type in and easier to link to. It is pleasing to see this echoed in the distribution of page rank.

Although this data is trivial and does not really have any effect to the function of the internet and search engines, it is now evident that shorter URL’s are more valuable. I will certainly be expanding my research from this sample to something a lot more concrete.

Tags: Research, URL
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