URL Length: For SEO, Are Shorter URLs Better, or Longer URLs? New Google Video

According to Google’s John Mueller, URL length doesn’t matter, except for one scenario: canonicals.
SIA Team
October 28, 2021

For years, people in our industry have pondered about whether or not shorter URLs are better than longer URLs.

From an aesthetic perspective, shorter, cleaner URLS are more visually appealing. I’ve heard that people can be hesitant to click on longer URLs (for example, if they see one in an email). 

But what about SEO? 

Well, yesterday (October 27th, 2021), Google published a new video that’s less than 2 minutes long. 

Search Advocate John Mueller hosted that video, and answered the question about whether shorter URLs are better. 

John’s response was:

“The direct answer is no. The URL length doesn’t matter. We use URLs as identifiers. It doesn’t matter how long they are.”

“…The number of slashes in there also doesn’t matter. I’m currently only aware of one part of our systems where the URL length plays a role. 

“That part is canonicalization. Canonicalization is what happens when we find multiple copies of a page on your website and we have to pick one URL to use for indexing.

If we find a shorter and cleaner URL, our systems tend to select that one. This does not affect ranking.”

He said a bit more during the video, but that was the gist of it.

My Thoughts

John mentioned canonicals, but with the description he gave, I wonder if it would’ve been more accurate if he said duplicate content. 

I mention that because he said “when we find multiple copies of a page,” but in canonicalization, it’s not that Google just picks a URL: it should pick the URL you choose, no what it chooses. 

But anyway, URL length, from an SEO perspective, doesn’t really matter. 

Source: Google Search Central YouTube channel