A permalink is also known as Permanent Link; is the address (URL – Uniform Resource Locator) of a webpage. The permalink never changes throughout the lifetime of a webpage.
Permalinks play an important role in your website for both search engine rankings and visitors who visit the web address to visit a webpage. The type of permalink that you pick for your webpage effect these two parties see and value your website. A URL with a load of unreadable characters at the end is less shareable. An SEO-friendly URL should be short, attractive, and easily readable. Permalink should be like:
The default permalink is not SEO’s friendly in WordPress. It is more look something like this https://www.peterjosephblog.com/?p=231
The number you see in the above example is the article number in the database of your website. Though this type of link does nothing to do with SEO, Google understands the content on that page. It does not define what the content offers to the users, also it does not look quite professional as well. The URL contains relevant words about the content provides more information about the webpage and hence it is good for the search engine ranking and SEO.
Characteristics of a Permalink
Every article that you published on your website has a unique URL, commonly knowns as Uniform Resource Locator.
This URL represents the address of a webpage and is expected to remain unchanged as long as it is on the web. Therefore, it is sometimes referred to as a permalink or Permanent Link.
Let’s understand permalink structure and how it is making an effect on our SEO results.
For example, here is my latest post permalink: https://www.peterjosephblog.com/what-is-seo
The permalink contains two parts, or permalink is made of two parts, i.e. the domain, and the page slug.
The webpage also includes the protocol i.e. HTTPS:// or HTTP:// and or www.
The page slug is what comes after the domain slash (/).
The maximum length of a permalink is 2083 characters but in general the shorter, the better.
How to create SEO Friendly Permalinks?
To make an SEO friendly permalink, there are some good practices that you keep in mind when deciding the permalink structure
Keep the link short – Create a short permalink by avoiding words like “the,” “a,” “an,” and create a shorter version slug of the title of the article. For example, if you create an article’s title is, “The best way to Create SEO Friendly article,” your slug can simply be /SEO-friendly-article.
Include main keywords in the permalink – To optimize the permalink, including main keywords in the slug of an article. Make sure that the keywords you use are directly related to the article content.
Permalink has to create while posting an article. Though, you can do this at any point.
If case you decide to change an old URL, make sure you update all backlinks related to it
Permalink for WordPress
WordPress is one of the most commonly used CMS platforms, and WordPress is the first platform that introduces the term “Permalink.”
You can find the “Permalinks Settings” under your WordPress Dashboard. WordPress gives you several options for setting up the URL structure of your article post. The most used and the best setting is “Post Name.”
By using “Post Name” as your permalinks will avoid unnecessary information. When you publish a new webpage on your WordPress website, it will automatically take the title of an article, separate it by a hyphen (dash) “-“.
How to change your permalink without affecting SEO?
Permalink has to be permanent though, but there might be some valid reasons when you need to change a permalink.
In case you want to change the permalink of a post, you should always need to inform search engines that you are changing the URL of a post so that they can update their index file accordingly. By doing this, the SEO part remains as it is.
On the other hand, if you don’t inform search engines about the changes, it will consider the webpage as a fresh new page. The result of which any backlinks pointing to that particular webpage will be lost, and if any users who bookmarked that webpage will get a 404 error, since the address of that page has been changed.
To avoid these unwanted circumstances, and maintain the SEO rankings, you need to add a Redirect 301 to your .htaccess file to inform search engine crawlers about such changes.
Follow the below step by step instructions:
For example, let’s say your current permalink is:
and you want to change it to:
Step 1: Log in to your WordPress Dashboard and to the post and open it in “Edit” Mode.
Step 2: Using an FTP program, locate the .htaccess file found in the Cpanel >> File Manager Folder of your website, download it to your local PC and edit it using Notepad or other text editors.
Step 3: Add the following line and save the file.
Redirect 301 /permalink-is-too-long
Note: Please make a note that you don’t need to include the domain name for the [source] URL whereas it has to be included in the new URL and mention the full permalink for the [target URL], as per the above example.
Step 4: Once you make changes, upload the same file back to your webserver.
Step 5: Now, launch a new browser and ensure everything is working fine and as expected. If you type the OLD URL in the browser, it should be redirected to the new webpage automatically.
Step 6: Also, use the inspection tool in Google Search Console to make sure that search engines can access the new permalink without any hassle.
Permalinks are the web addresses, and one of several ways to help keep your website healthy, organized and optimized for search engines. Hope you understand what a permalink is, by now.
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