When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), there are multiple factors to consider to help your website rank higher in search engines. URL structure is one of them. URLs can be optimized with the use of parameters or slugs, both of which serve different purposes, and in this article, we’ll explore the differences between the two and how they can impact your SEO rankings.
A parameter is a variable passed to a web page through the URL. They are typically seen after a question mark (?) in a URL followed by a series of variables separated by & symbols. Parameters are often used to pass data between pages and can help dynamically generate pages based on user input, session state or other contextual data.
In the example above, the URL contains three parameters: category, color, and size. Each parameter has a corresponding value that is passed to the web page. Parameters can be manipulated by making changes to the values or removing them, which can alter the content being displayed.
A slug is a part of a URL that describes the content of the page being visited but can be used more broadly to describe the content of a website’s sections. A slug is a short, descriptive, and human-readable string that replaces the dynamic parameters in the URL.
In the example above, the URL structure contains the product category, color, and size elements. Unlike the parameter-based URL, slugs contain standardized keywords that make the URL more readable and memorable for users.
Slugs are an essential component of optimizing page URLs for SEO purposes. The words used in the URL can help search engines determine the context of the page by assuming the slug to be more descriptive.
Some considerations that one should keep in mind while optimizing the slug:
URL slugs are reliable and beneficial for ensuring that your page is seen by the right people, and considered a best practice for SEO optimization. In this article, we’ve explored the difference between URL parameters and slug, as well as the pros and cons of each. While parameter-based URLs are flexible and easy to implement, they come with drawbacks that can impact SEO rankings. Conversely, URL slugs are SEO friendly, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to remember. Parameters tend to add random unique queries and don't have a standard structure while Slugs have a structured and controlled format that assists in optimization of URLs.