File & Folder Naming Conventions

file naming, folder namingMost people now know that successful rankings in search engines are achieved not by some panacea, some trick that makes the difference, but by an accumulation of small issues.

No single action on its own makes much difference although title tags and heading tags still have a bit more of an effect than anything else.

Apart from those two there are number of minor ranking factors that you can easily implement and which will do more good than harm.

One of these is how you name your folders and files. Obscure file and folder names can potentially confuse a search engine robot but sensible and proportionate use of keywords in your file naming and folder naming will help a bit.

Here are some folder and file naming guidelines we operate at NetSecrets:

  • File and folder names should only be made up of lower case a to z, 0 to 9, – (hyphen) and _ (but not recommended) – no spaces, no capitals.
  • Folders should ideally be kept to 2 levels, never more than 3 – domain.com/folder1/file.html or domain.com/folder1/sub-folder1/file.html
  • File names should, within reason, contain keywords separated by hyphens NOT underscores. Ideally only 1 hyphen, not more than 2 unless absolutely unavoidable. No “particle” words – and, the, it, etc
  • So “question.html” or “ask-question.html” NOT “ask-an-online-question-if-you-want.html”! Also “web-hosting.html” NOT “webhosting.html” NOR “web_hosting.html” and NEVER “Web Hosting.html”

This is especially true and useful when it relates to images or videos. Whereas a search engine can get a pretty good idea of what your text is relating to, it’s often the case that the only real clue to what a media file is about is the name of the file itself.

Hope this is useful If you want to know why or have anything to add please post a comment.

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