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How-to 7 min read September 27, 2019

What is the maximum and best page URL length for SEO

Each web page has its own URL. Some links are simple and concise; others are long and with a complex structure. When you optimize the website, you should consider the effect of the link length and how long they can be.

What is the URL

A URL or Uniform Resource Locator is a page address indicating its location on the Internet. The link to the page is located in the address bar of the browser. The standard URL structure 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. Other components going after the site name may vary in length and have different contents. The end result depends on the names of the directories and the name of the page to which it leads.

The URL syntax allows letters, numbers, and extra characters.

What does the link length affect

URL length and user-friendliness

The length of links is important primarily for the common 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 that have 2-3 easy to understand and catchy words look more attractive than long ones. Therefore, their clickability may be higher. In case you need to enter a long URL manually in the address bar, it will take you a lot of time.
Too long URL address

URL length and SEO

Short links often have an advantage over long links in terms of search engine optimization and users' convenience.

Since the user factor plays a significant role in website ranking, the presence of clear and structured content on web pages improves the behavioral factors of the entire resource and, therefore, the chances of being seen by a wider audience.

Working on the page URL to make it compact and informative is one of the tools to influence ranking in search results.

How long the URL should be

Browser's URL length limits

Microsoft Internet Explorer has a URL size limit. The maximum length of a URL in the address bar is 2048 characters. However, the successful processing of extra-long links by the browser doesn't mean that a search robot will be able to process them too. The appropriate page URL is 75 characters long.

As for indexing documents with long URLs (over 75-120 characters), they are generally indexed quite well, although there may be difficulties in the ranking.

The maximum URL length for contextual advertising

When creating advertisements in the search network, you should take into account the allowed length of the ad.

Principles of URL building

Developing link structure

Large website pages with a complex structure of categories and subcategories can have long URLs.

Links optimization involves reducing their layered structure. According to search engine optimization, it's better to use short URLs.

For example, a common link: mysite.com/1/2/3/4/5/item100.html, where points 1-5 are the component directory chains.

Enhanced link: mysite.com/catalog/item100.html. Here we see a reduction in nesting levels. Using optimized links has a positive effect on user factors.

Setting up a SEF URL

Friendly links are called so because they are human-readable. Such links are convenient for copying and quite informative for a search robot.

A SEF URL or Search Engine Friendly URL indicates friendliness of the URLs. 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.

The SEF URL allows you to adjust the length of the URL, and also uses the language matching the website language in the link text.
SEO URL generator in OpenCart CMS

Configuring URLs in CMS

URL settings for pages can be done in various website management systems. Some systems, such as OpenCart, by default, generate the content specified in the header of the H1 page in a similar URL.

Joomla has a SEF URL option that needs to be activated. In Wordpress, you should use the Yoast plugin to create optimized URLs. A link that reflects the contents of a page and contains key phrases makes sense for SEO promotion.

The appropriate URL is distinguished by concision, informativeness, and keywords. The task of an SEO specialist is to create such page addresses and adhere to the structure of the website.

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 URL length. Part of the link that didn't fit in the visible snippet area will be hidden.
Long link shortening on the search results page
The standard URL length in WordPress is 200 characters.
Setting page URL in WordPress

Conclusion

When working on website optimization, it's better to give preference to concise and informative links instead of long URLs with a complex structure. The page address should be short, logical, readable for the user and contain keywords. Such links affect the attractiveness of the entire Internet resource.

Despite the fact that popular browsers can process links up to 2000 characters, their final length should not exceed 75 characters. This length of the URL will increase the chances of successful processing of pages by the search engine and positively affect the website optimization.
This article is a part of Serpstat's "Site Audit" tool
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