Google clarifies importance of case sensitive URLs

Posted on October 1, 2021

 

Google’s John Mueller recently talked about the importance of uppercase and lowercase characters in your website URL as part of the latest instalment of Ask Googlebot on YouTube. Today, let’s explore how this can affect your search engine optimisation (SEO) and why this is important.

Does letter case matter for SEO?

To an internet user, letter case in a URL makes no difference. You can type www.engageweb.co.uk or www.EngageWeb.co.uk into your address bar and it will take you to the same site.

However, Mueller has clarified that the matter is indeed important to Google. Two URLs that appear the same but have different letter cases could be detected as being two domains with the exact same content.

By making sure this is fixed and that the domain has only one letter case – whether uppercase or lowercase – you can prevent your content being mistakenly flagged as duplicate by Google.

Mueller also said in the video:

“By definition, URLs are case sensitive, and also things like slashes at the end do matter. So, technically, yes — these things matter. They make URLs different.”

If your website has different URLs with both lowercase and uppercase letters in the URL, Google will crawl the site twice if there is this issue happening on the site and the crawler will attempt to figure out which domain to index on the search engine. Sometimes, however, this could cause issues.

How can you make sure Google indexes the correct URL?

Using a canonical tag on your site can help to tell Google what URL to index. A canonical tag is a code usually generated by plugins like Yoast (on WordPress) to tell search engines which URL represents the main copy of a page.

At Engage Web, we offer SEO services to improve your online presence through search engines like Google. To find out more, speak with our friendly team.

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