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Permanent link

A permanent link (abbreviated permalink), refers to a special resource that makes a link permanently available. Permalinks are unique identifiers in the form of URLs that are created with the purpose of always being able to reach the designated content through that URL.

General information

The content of the web is constantly changing. In particular, blogs, wikis, web directories, and news magazines are regularly changed and updated, making it difficult to access certain documents, content, and websites. On a news website, a previously published post will be pushed back each time new posts that are more current are added. The same principle applies to blogging. Older messages slide down and now they will not be accessible from the main page. Similarly, on wikis, it is often the case that older versions of the post will no longer be available.

A permanent link makes available to the user the contents that otherwise they would not be easy to find or enter. There are two reasons. First, the ideal is that the content has the same identifier. Second, identifiers must be preserved, so that not only users, but also search engines can find and retrieve content using that identifier.

Hence, web content that would otherwise remain in the background would be given a unique identifier. The concept behind this procedure is Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) that refer to a resource using a unique identification code. In the case of permalinks, these resources are web content that is referenced by a web address in the form of a URL. The URL indicates where the specific content on the web is located.


The URL of a web page that contains multiple news items might, for example, look like this:

However, specific news reports cannot be accessed through this address. If you want to designate a specific report, you will use a permanent link for that specific web content. For example, to refer to a single report from 03/14/2018, the Permalink may look like the following:

This report will be permanently available under that URL and can be linked by third parties using this permalink.

The ideal, despite everything, is to select a permanent link that describes the resource, such as:

Depending on the content management system used, there are very different possibilities. A semantic tag with the appropriate keywords is usually the first option, but it can be complemented by a numeric code mainly caused for large websites.

Relevance for SEO

Permanent links are very important in the field of SEO to better identify certain resources and make them permanently available. It's not just about the availability of a post, but also about readability and traceability for search engines. Therefore, the URL of a permalink should always consist of important keywords or clear and concise titles with keywords. Thus, search engines can link content to keywords and corresponding indexes, while readers will know at a glance what type of content to expect from permalink.

In addition, many mistakes can be made with permanent links. They should be relatively short. Up to five words are considered natural by Google. The longer a Permalink is, the less weight it is given in indexing[1]. Some characters, such as underscores, should be avoided. Words are separated by hyphens and are usually lowercase. Duplicates of certain words within a URL should also be avoided. It is specifically important to avoid referring to different URLs in the same resource. This can be construed as duplicate content.

Finally, permanent links have to do with choosing a meaningful unique identifier that describes the resource and makes it permanently available, without violating other reasonable search engine optimization criteria.

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