What is permalink?

To access a website on the Internet, you should already be used to typing the address of the page in the browser. The Canaltech, for example, is canaltech.com.br, and this URL doesn’t change. But did you know that even this has a specific name? It’s what we call a permalink.

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  • The term may not make much sense when we are simply browsing the web. However, it is an important term for anyone who has a blog or website and wants it to appear in the top results in internet search engines such as Google and Bing. Next, we’ll explain what permalink means.

    What is permalink?

    Permanent links help to better identify a site on the Internet and position it in better search engine results (Image: Matheus Costa/Canaltech)

    Permalink is the abbreviation for “Permanent Link” , which in turn can be translated as “permanent link”. As its name suggests, this is the full URL that you see in the address bar when opening a website. The pages within a given site usually have different URLs, but each one is permanent.

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    It’s this “permanent” that makes the permalink what it is: the URL never changes. If the content of a page or website is changed or updated, the link will remain the same.

    In a parallel with real life, think of the permalink as if it were a physical address, with a name the street and zip code. Those who live there can move to another place, but that specific address is never changed.

    Generally, the permalinks are created automatically by the platforms responsible for the publication from links on the internet. News sites often have the same title and URL. The one in this article, for example, is “canaltech.com.br/internet/o-que-e-permalink.” There are some exceptions — YouTube uses URLs with a different alphanumeric string for each video. then follow this pattern of copying the name or title of the site.

      Why is the permalink important?

      On the users side, the permalink can serve as a facilitator of the site you are browsing. Since most internet sites use the same address that appears in the title or highlight of the link accessed, you can look at the address bar and see the fixed URL of that page before it loads fully in the browser.

      However, the most benefited by permalink are the sites themselves. And this has everything to do with web search services, which rely on these permanent URLs to define which sites will appear first in users’ searches. Therefore, the permalink is directly related to the optimization of websites for search engines – the so-called Search Engine Optimization (SEO, its acronym in English).

      How to structure a permalink?

    The better structured the permalink, the better will be the positions of the site in search engines (Image: Mohamed Hassan/Pixabay)

    Permalink is one of the elements that can most influence a website to have a good ranking in search engines, including Google and Bing.

    Some publishers, such as WordPress, automatically generate a permalink based on the title of the website or page. However, it is essential to pay attention to some details so that the URL fits the requirements of search engines.

    Permalinks that are too long may not be well regarded by these search engines. It is also important to put keywords in the URL, both to improve the display on search engines and to facilitate the users’ own searches. The post date is not mandatory, but depending on the type of content, it can facilitate searches for more specific posts.

    Another indication is that the permalink is not changed after being published on the internet . This can cause indexing problems on Google and other search sites because they understand this is a new post. Therefore, engines need to analyze it and boost it from scratch.

    Many sites follow a pattern when it comes to creating new permalinks. This pattern consists of the following: site name + post content category + post name/title. Another variation is to use the site name + post content category + post date + post name/title.

    Remember that the internal content of the page can be changed, but doing this with permalink is not recommended. Even if there are broken links or links that are no longer valid during the post, the ideal is to make these corrections, since search engines also lower the ranking if they detect outdated URLs that lead nowhere.

    Source: Yoast, LisComunello

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