Each web page has its own URL. Some links are simple and concise, others are complex and long. When optimizing a site, it is worth considering what the link length affects and what limits exist relative to their size.
What is a URL?
URL or Uniform Resource Locator is the address of the page, indicating its location on the Internet. Link to the page is located in the address bar of the browser.
The structure of the standard URL contains:
- data transfer protocol, for example, https: //;
- Domain name;
- the path from the domain name to the page, which includes a chain of directories and subdirectories;
- may contain special parameters and anchors, for example, the GET method used to get the contents of a resource.
The domain name is part of the URL. The rest of its components, following the name of the site, may vary in length and have different content. The end result depends on the names of the directories and the names of the pages leading to the requested.
URL syntax allows for the use of letters, numbers and additional characters. When using Cyrillic, recoding takes place, and the final appearance of the copied URL may differ from the original one.
What does link length affect
URL length and user convenience
The length of the links is important primarily for the average user. Long URLs, as a rule, go beyond the visible part of the address bar and have a complex structure. When copying and placing such a link on a third-party resource or in a text document, its text may take several lines.
Short links, consisting of 2-3 clear and memorable words, look more attractive than long ones. Therefore, their clickability may be higher. If there is a need to type the link manually in the address bar, then in the case of a long URL it will be an extremely time-consuming process.
URL length and SEO
Short links often have an advantage over long ones in terms of search engine optimization and for the convenience of visitors. Since the user factor plays a significant role in the ranking of a site, the presence of clear and structured content on web pages improves the behavioral factors of the resource as a whole and, therefore, the chances of being seen by a wider audience. Work on the page address in favor of compactness and informativeness is one of the tools to influence the growth of positions in search results.
What should be the length of the URL
Browser URL Length Limits
As for the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser, it has a limit on the length of the URL. The maximum length of the URL in its address bar is 2048 characters.
However, the successful processing of super-long links by the browser does not mean that the search robot will be able to process them. The optimal page address size is 75 characters.
Regarding the indexing of documents with long URLs (over 75-120 characters), in general they are rather well indexed, although there may be some difficulties with ranking.
Maximum URL length for contextual advertising
When creating advertisements in the search network, one should take into account the admissible length for the ad network for the page address.
URL Formation Principles
Work with link structure
Pages of large projects with a complex structure of categories and subcategories can have long URLs.
Link optimization implies a reduction in their layered structure. From the point of view of search engine optimization, it is better to use short addresses.
For example, the usual link: mysite.com/1/2/3/4/5/item100.html, where 1-5 – components of the chain of directories.
Improved link: mysite.com/catalog/item100.html.
Here we see a reduction in nesting levels. Using optimized links has a positive effect on user factors.
Understandable are called links that are understandable for perception by the user. Such links are convenient for copying and informative for the search robot.
The term SEF is an analogue of the abbreviation SEF URL in the English segment. SEF URL or Search Engine Friendly URL indicates a friendliness of the URL to search engines. The optimized link text makes the web page address more informative and attractive, and also makes it possible to use key phrases that are important for promotion.
SEFs allow you to adjust the length of the URL, as well as use in the text of the links the language that matches the language of the site. Thus, in the visible part of the address bar, the text can be displayed in Cyrillic.
URLs Address settings for pages can be done in various site management systems. Some systems, such as OpenCart, by default, generate the content specified in the H1 page header into a similar URL.
Joomla has a SEF option that needs to be activated. In WordPress, you should use the Yoast plugin to create optimized addresses. When using Cyrillic, the text H1 is adapted with the help of transliteration in the form of Latin characters. A link that reflects the content of a page and contains key phrases matters when you promote a page.
The optimal address is concise, informative and the presence of keywords. The task of a search engine optimization specialist is to create such page addresses and adhere to the structure of the site.
The link to the page is displayed in the address bar of the browser and in the search results, as part of the snippet, which is another reason for optimizing the length. The part of the link that does not fit in the visible area of the snippet will be hidden.
The standard URL length in WordPress is 200 characters.
When working with a site instead of long URLs with a complex structure, it is better to give preference to concise and informative links. The address of the page should be short, logical, understandable for the user and contain keywords. Such links affect the attractiveness of the entire Internet resource.
Despite the fact that popular browsers allow processing of links up to 2000 characters, their final length should not exceed 75 characters. This length of the address will increase the chances of successful processing of pages by the search engine and will positively affect the optimization of the site.