View Full Version : Will renaming pages affect rank?

Mary Ann
16th July 2004, 10:02 AM
I have what may be a dumb newbie question so I hope people will be patient.

I've noticed that the sites or pages that often rank highest for a keyword have the keyword in the url itself. If I were to resave a page from my site with a different name (not the title but the url itself) and include the keyword with that affect my rank for that page negatively since the url other sites linked to would not exist anymore? For example, I have a cast page for actress Jane Seymour on my site. I rank well if you add something to the search like Jane Seymour bedding etc. but not for Jane Seymour itself. I noticed that the sites that DO rank high for just her name all seem to have that name in their url. Currently the name of that page only has jane.html in it. If I were to resave it as janeseymour.html - would that help or would that ultimately hurt me?

Mary ann

David Wallace
16th July 2004, 10:12 AM
Keywords in URLs have very little effectiveness in how sites are ranked. It is very likely that there are other contributing factors as to why those pages rank well (i.e. keywords in title tags, keywords in content, site themed to that keyword, etc.).

That being said it is not bad to name files names with keywords such as in your example (janeseymour.html) but it is not going to make that big of a difference, if any at all as far as how the page is ranked. If you have a page already ranking well and change the file name, that particular listing will drop of course because the page no longer exists and not return until the SE has found the new page. To avoid this, you can simply set up a 301 permanent redirect from the old page to the new.

16th July 2004, 10:57 AM
Hi Mary ann! Welcome to the forum. :)

Old Welsh Guy
16th July 2004, 02:12 PM
Hi Mary Ann, slightly off here, but naming your pages like that CAN help your rankings, but not as a direct result of the name, or directly because of the name. WHY?

Well if you name your page janeseymour.html no good, but if you name your page jane-seymour.html = good, simply because when people link to that page they are going to have the anchor text of

Google treats the - as a space (but not _ ) So in effect you are creating keyword rich anchor text pointing to the page.

Personally although I have done this in the last year on my own site to test this out, I would not do it for SEo as it is too much of a 'flavour of the moment' and could be weakened at any time by the search engines.

16th July 2004, 05:53 PM
Hi Mary Ann,

Welcome to the forum. Jane Seymour is an old favorite.

There are a lot of factors on a page that influence how well it does on a search engines. It might be possible that the name of the page will have an influence, but there are so many others that are important, too.

I usually just use a page name that's easy for me to remember, and that might make sense to people looking at the page. It's not always the keyword.

I'd much rather have the keyword or keyword phrase in the title to the page, in headlines and body text on the page, and in anchor text on links to the page. And the more links to the page, the better, especially (when it comes to Google) if the pages have high page ranks.

Speaking of page rank, it's not the "page" that has pagerank, but the URL itself. So, if you keep the page exactly the same, but change its name (and thereby change its URL), it no longer has the pagerank it had before.

I don't think it would help you to change the URL. I'm guessing that there are probably other factors in play too that cause those pages to rank higher for "jane seymour" than yours does.

Old Welsh Guy
17th July 2004, 11:24 AM
OOPS just realised that I didn't answer the question in my reply LOL.

I wouldn't change the name of the page. (got so wrapped up in saying whyor why not that I forgot to say whether )

Mary Ann
17th July 2004, 02:32 PM
Wow thanks everyone for your feedback. This is one of the few forums I've ever tried participating in that doesn't generate sarcastic replies because the members are ' professionals'. I really appreciate it. I think my problem is we have links to the main site, but not to this particular page from other sites. I'm starting to submit the page itself (url for this page) to some celebrity sites etc so that seems to be helping.

Thanks again!

Mary Ann

Old Welsh Guy
18th July 2004, 05:32 AM
Mary Ann, If someone is sarcastic, then they are hardly professional ;-). No room for it in my book. A forum such as this is all about helping people get what they want, and every now and again having them post a 'thank you' which makes it all worthwhile.

You are right it what you say. So may people seem to think that ink building is all about having a links page, that links to the home page of another site, with every other site linking to your home page. Not true!

people are so much more likely to link if you write a nice email leeting them know that your page at 'url deep page' would be a good link from their page at 'url deep page' often you can find pages that you can swap links with. I always do it this way, pointing out that maximum benefit can be acheived long term by inking from relevant deep pages.


19th July 2004, 12:52 PM
This is one of the few forums I've ever tried participating in that doesn't generate sarcastic replies because the members are ' professionals'. I really appreciate it.

Thank you for saying that Mary Ann! :) A friendly atmosphere is a top priority for us. If people aren't comfortable, they won't want to participate.

4th August 2004, 06:57 PM
One of the factors in rank is the relevance or perceived relevance of the page. A page named "jane.html" with lots of Jane Seymour content might be perceived as being a little less relevant than the same page content in a file named "jane-seymour.html"...particularly if that file was part of "".

Most importantly, is the page useful? When your page turns up in the search results, will people reinforce the perception of its usefulness by clicking on the link? Often the name of the page or domain comes into play in that manner. If people click on your search result, then that WILL affect your ranking positively.

It helps people to recognize your content when the page is named appropriately...but not in an overly-tricky way. i.e. "jane-seymour.html" is informative and accurate, where "jane-seymour-jane-seymour.html" is not.

I corraborate OWG's comment that an underscore (_) does little for you from a search engine perspective where a hyphen (-) does something technical (is interpreted as a spacebar).

Rename your pages? Only to make them better targets for the people who will see the result and so they make sense to you.