As an Internet professional, I care a lot about URLs. Whereas some casual surfers may never notice what appears in the address bar of the browser, I am constantly looking at the URL to give me context about what I am looking at… Where does this page fall within the site hierarchy? is it protected by HTTPS? Was I redirected to a phishing site?
I am not the only one who cares about URLs. Search engines care about them too. We hear about search engine friendly URLs but the most important thing is that the URL is the unique identifier that a search engine uses to catalog its index. If you care about getting found in a search, you better make it easy for both users and search engines to be able to understand what information is available at each of your URLs.
When you run a global website that serves multiple markets and languages, the problem of URL management gets harder because you are adding more dimensions to your site for the search engines to understand. You want your localized content to appear in search results so that audiences go to the sites that have been localized to serve them.
URLs play a big part of that because they can help a search engine segment and group content. You want your global URLs to communicate the following information.