Greg Morris

Some Thoughts On Slugs

Adam Newbold, writing about using URL as a sentence:

URLs convey valuable information, and good URL design ensures that they provide the right level of context and set proper expectations. Incidentally, good URL design is something that is still lacking all over the internet,

I can’t remember where I saw Adam’s post linked to, nut it had the exact pull quote highlighted and I saved the post for reading later, thinking this was a fascinating idea. Something I could get behind. But the more I thought about it, the more I think it doesn’t really matter — which I think by the end Adam also agrees with.

I understand the idea. Maximising the amount of information in the URL, but on the modern web I don’t think it matters. I mean hey, it matters to Adam and that’s really cool, but in general. When was the last time you paid attention to a URL?

I link to loads of them, both on my blog and in my day job, and there are only two instances they matter. Both of which are every niche and only matter to me in my day job — SEO and direction.

  • SEO: There is a held belief that they matter to SEO — I’m no expert, but I think they matter a lot less than they used to.
  • Direction: To get people to a URL, it’s important they are short and memorable.

In every other instance, you’d be hard pushed if you even see the URL on the modern web (and perhaps that is another point worth talking about at a later post). Most browsers hide them and only show you the top-level domain. When it comes to sharing on the web, even platform either obscures them with their own linking and/or shows you a rich preview with an image.

Perhaps I am wrong and they really matter to people. I understand it’s essential to own them, and not change them, but as for what they look like — who cares. Well, Adam does clearly, do you?

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