URL Group Feature

What are URL Groups for?

URL Groups are used to organize information about related URLs. As detailed in the guidelines for which sites to list, when multiple URLs refer to the same (or similar) content, only one of these URLs may be listed. Which one depends on several considerations, including the expected stability of the URL, the breadth of content (e.g., multi-lingual vs. uni-lingual, single-product vs. corporate), and the relationship of the domain name to the content. Editors are expected to exercise their judgment (and when uncertain, consult the forums) to select the one URL that may be listed, and are encouraged to document the relationships between this primary URL and various alternative URLs that they may identify in the course of editing.

One means of documenting this is through URL Notes, which can alert about mirrors and redirects to discourage editors from listing non-preferred URLs. Another is by using the editor notes available to all editors, which attach to the exact URL edited at the time of each edit. URL Groups provide a different, more structured, way to organize these details.

What's in a URL Group?

A URL Group is a collection of two or more URLs (in canonized form: URLs such as and are considered to be the same in this context) that refer to the same content. Only one of the URLs in any URL group can be listed: this is designated as the primary URL, the others are considered alternatives. Attempting to publish a listing with a URL listed as an alternative in a URL group will result in an error. Sometimes the situation around a group of sites changes; for example, the primary URL may fall out of favor and start returning an error, while one or more of the alternatives are still active. In these cases, it is possible to designate one of the alternatives as the new primary URL. Doing so changes the URL for all of the listings of the previous primary URL.

Editing with URL Groups

When you open a URL editing page (the forms for editing listings, editing unreviewed entries, or adding a new URL), the editing system checks if the URL being edited/added is part of a URL group. If it is, it shows details for the URLs in the group in a light blue color-block just above the editing form. If not, there is a link next to the URL entry field to create a new URL group. Clicking this link will open an empty URL-Group block. In either case, another URL can be entered as a "NEW" entry for the URL Group. If the group already existed, it will simply be extended with the new URL (along with any notes you enter on the form); if it didn't, a new URL Group with two entries will be created. All editors can add URLs to URL groups.

If the URL you wish to add to a group is already listed in the category, you may need to unreview it first.

For URLs that are already part of a URL Group, the color-block includes buttons for each of the alternative URLs. Clicking such a button makes the corresponding URL the new primary URL for the group, and changes all the listings for the original URL. All editors can re-designate the primary URL in a group, as long as they have editing access to all current listings of the URL. If this is not the case, use one of the forum threads for requesting help from more experienced editors to explain the situation and request that the primary URL be reassigned.

The URL-Group block also includes a link to "edit URL group". At this time, this link takes you to an external editor tool that can be used to manipulate the individual entries of a URL Group. Here, editors can change the free-form notes, or remove entries from a URL Group. Only cateditall+ editors can perform these less-common functions. Here too, if you feel a change is required and you cannot make it yourself, please use the forums to explain the need.