News & Updates
Are URLs Case Sensitive SEO
September 29, 2021 03:37:45 PM
According to Google's John Mueller, URLs are case-sensitive. Thus whether the characters are uppercase or lowercase makes a difference.
Case differences can distinguish one URL from another, similar to how a URL with a trailing slash distinguishes itself from one without the slash.
This problem is discussed in the most recent episode of Ask Googlebot on the Google Search Central YouTube channel.
A query was posted inquiring if the case of the letters in the URL affects the rankings of a website.
Mueller responds to the question by describing how Google determines which version of a URL to show in search results.
According to Mueller:
"URLs are case sensitive by definition, and things like slashes at the end do matter. So, yeah, these things do matter on a technical level, and they make URLs unique."
When Google detects numerous versions of the same URL, it will attempt to crawl all of them in order to choose which one to display in search results.
What can case sensitivity in URLs affect other things?
URLs with uppercase letters are likely to be recorded independently by Google Analytics, along with the page authority of your pages and the overall authority of your website, and may result in 404 errors on the wrong server.
How can I prevent case-sensitivity issues?
There are a few solutions for you if your URLs are case-sensitive. You can either use the rel=canonical tag to tell search engines which version is your preferred version, or automatically 301 redirect URLs with the improper case (any uppercase letters) to the lowercase version.
It is advisable to use a 301 redirect. If it's a minor issue, you should be able to redirect a few pages, or you could establish a site-wide redirect instead. A site-wide patch is most likely your best bet for preventing future problems.
There are various solutions – Alex at influx has a wonderful blog post that goes over some of them.
If at all possible, avoid using canonical tags. 301 redirects are far more likely to solve the problem quickly and efficiently. If you don't have any other options, a rel=canonical linking back to the lowercase version of the URL is preferable to nothing.
Here is the video:
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