Depending upon the server you use, whether you use upper or lower case in your URL structure may or may not matter. While Windows OS regard URLs to be the same as long as the spelling is the same, Linux and UNIX servers interpret different capitalization as 2 different pages, which can cause problems later on down the line.
Can I have an example please?
Sure! Wisegeek.org provides a good example of how this can become a problem:
Brilliant Jack! Great work!
But then ….
Sorry Jack. Your site suffered because once the upgrade to the new OS happened, your URLs suddenly because case sensitive. That’s why your pages are resulting in 404 page errors and traffic is down.
Well, I Certainly Don’t Want to Be Like Jack. What Should I Do?
As a best practice, we recommend using only lowercase URLs on your website. It’s simple, it covers all the bases, it’s how most people type in URLs when visiting or linking to your site, and is the preferred “SEO-friendly” method.
Beyond that, we have seen cases where search engines have mistaken uppercase and lowercase versions of the same URL as separate pages and indexed multiple versions of the same page. While eventually search engines might eventually figure out that the pages are all the same, it could take a long time for that to happen. Until then, you will be suffering from duplicate content issues which are confusing to search engines and the people using them.
Oops. My URLs Already Exist and They Aren’t All Lowercase
Well it’s a good thing you read this blog post! If you already have pages on your site that are accessible at multiple URLs (uppercase and lowercase), canonical tags can be used to address this issue. If multiple versions are currently indexable, most of the time it is best to point all of your canonicals to the lowercase version. This will help prevent multiple versions from being indexed and will provide some clarity to search crawlers.
You’re the Boss of Google
Well, not really. But if you know what you are doing, you can guide the way that Google and other search engines look at your site.
In fact, if you don’t boss Google around a bit, Google will just guess what you want for your site. Mostly likely you DON’T want that to happen.
Search Discovery puts it this way:
In a Word
In a word: YES.
URL case sensitivity can have an impact on your site. It does matter if you make your URL uppercase, lowercase, or a mixture of both. And if this post made you realize “Ruh-roh. I need some help.” Fear not, Volume Nine is full of folks who are experts at this kind of thing. Just give us a call, and we will dig right in!