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I'm not a web programmer at all so I really have no idea:

You'll notice that websites like Stack Exchange have links like this:

http://programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/188078/policy-and-practice-on-code-maintenance

As you can see, the link includes the "page name" (Policy and practice on code maintenance).

We know this is unnecessary, since I could just use

http://programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/188078

instead. Curiously, upon using this link, the site will replace it for the one with the page name.

My question is: why do some websites put the page name in their links? What advantages or disadvantages come from that?

The only advantage that comes to my mind is the fact that the link becomes more user friendly since it is easier to identify what the URL is about. But I wonder if there are more technical aspects behind this behavior.

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I know that as a user, being able to hover over the link and see something like policy and practice on code maintenance occasionally makes me more likely to follow that link, as opposed to the times when the link is just /questions/188078 –  Tacroy Feb 22 '13 at 22:40
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I think you hit on the answer. It is to make the URL human readable when placed in a link. The browser dispalys the link when you hover so it makes for a nice human interface. On the server end it makes no difference the "Page Name" part is not used in page resolution. So a win/win. –  Loki Astari Feb 23 '13 at 17:19

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Here are a couple of SO questions that cover this topic as this is an SEO feature generally so that the keywords are part of the URL that can be indexed:

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Exactly, it's primarily done for SEO purposes, to tell Google what the page is about. It's also a user friendly thing to do. –  jfrankcarr Feb 23 '13 at 20:12

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