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Does the number of subdirectories in a URL affect its ranking?

Does the number of subdirectories in a URL affect its ranking? - answered by Matt Cutts

Matt's answer:

Today’s question comes from Monique in the Netherlands. Monique wants to know, how much of a difference does the number of levels in the URL make. Does dub dub dub domain dot com slash key word give much higher rankings on key word than dub dub dub domain dot com slash blabla slash blabla slash keyword. It’s a very good question. The answer is there’s virtually no difference whatsoever. Think about things in terms of page rank. Usually the root page of your site is what has the most page rank. That’s where everybody’s linking to. That’s the thing that they all care about and usually link to. So if you take a page on your site and you link to your root page directly, that page will get a little bit of page rank as well. Whether that page is at a high level or a low level in the directory doesn’t change how much page rank it gets. Now I can’t speak for Microsoft or Yahoo. I don’t know how they treat things. I’ve heard rumors that they look at the number of levels. And certainly, for useability, if you can make things relatively close to the root page, that can be nice. But certainly within Google I wouldn’t worry very much at all about whether things were at one level deeper or at the root level or something like that. I think it can be very helpful for users if you have a subdirectory, where you might have slash search or you might have slash reviews or you might have slash products. And you can have things within that subdirectory. That can be a great thing for usability, and I definitely recommend having your site categorized in some sort of way like that. But as far as something that just says, aha, there’s one or two extra directories, therefore your rankings get lowered, I wouldn’t worry about that at all. It’s really not a major factor in Google search engine Rankings.

by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team


Original video: