difference between absolute url and relative url
  • Absolute URL Vs. Relative URL: Which One Is Good For SEO?

Featured Image Caption: Difference between Absolute URL and Relative URL

Have you ever wondered if the URLs on your website are helping or hurting your search engine optimization? As a website owner, it’s an important thing to consider. The URLs you choose, absolute or relative, can impact your SEO in different ways. If you’re unsure of the difference or which type is best for search rankings and user experience, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this blog, we’ll explain absolute and relative URLs, discuss the pros and cons of each for SEO and help you determine the best choice for your website. By the end, you’ll have a solid understanding of URLs and feel confident you’re making the right choice for your site’s architecture and search performance.

What Are Absolute URLs And Relative URLs?

To understand which URL type is best for search engine optimization (SEO), you must first know the difference between absolute and relative URLs. SEO Services can help you build a robust online presence.

An absolute URL contains the full web address to a page, including the protocol (https://) and domain name (example.com). A relative URL, on the other hand, only contains the path to a page relative to the current page. So if you’re on example.com/blog/ and the relative URL is /contact/, it links to example.com/contact/.

For SEO, absolute URLs are generally preferable for a few reasons:

  • Crawlers can access the page directly. Search engine crawlers can follow an absolute URL to find a new page to index. With relative URLs, the crawler must find the current page to determine the full path.
  • URLs are cleaner. Absolute URLs simply look more professional and trustworthy. Strings like /../ can confuse users and search engines.
  • Links are not broken. If you restructure your site and move pages around, absolute URLs will still work. Relative URLs are more prone to breaking.
  • Canonical issues are avoided. With relative URLs, it’s possible to have multiple URLs that point to the same content. This can confuse search engines and split rankings and traffic.

However, relative URLs do have their place. They can be helpful for site navigation and in content where short, clean URLs are preferred, like blog posts. Many CMSs and web-building tools also generate relative URLs by default.

Why URL Structure Matters For SEO?

As an SEO expert, you know that URL structure matters. The URLs you choose can help or hurt your search rankings and user experience.

So which is better for SEO, absolute or relative URLs?

Absolute URLs contain the full website address, like https://www.example.com/products/shoes. Relative URLs just show the path, like /products/shoes.

For SEO, absolute URLs are generally preferable for a few reasons:

  • Crawlers can access the page directly. Search engines can crawl and index the absolute URL even if they land on any page of your site. Relative URLs require them to navigate your site’s architecture to find the page.
  • Fewer redirect chains. With absolute URLs, there’s a straight path to the content. Relative URLs may require several redirects to land on the right page. More redirects mean a higher chance of issues that could hurt SEO.
  • Consistent URL structure. Absolute URLs always have the same format as your domain, making it easy for search engines to understand your site’s layout. The structure of relative URLs can vary in different sections or pages of your site.

However, relative URLs do have a place. They’re useful for:

  • Internal Site Links: Linking to other pages on your site. Relative URLs are more efficient and flexible.
  • User Experience: Relative URLs usually create a cleaner URL that’s easier for people to read and share.

In the end, absolute URLs are best for the pages you want to rank in search. But for internal site navigation and UX, relative URLs work great. Using a combination of both absolute and relative URLs on your site helps you get the best of both worlds. SEOquake can display the number of internal and external links on a webpage and their quality and relevance.

Should You Use Absolute Or Relative URLs?

Absolute URLs

  • Pros For SEO: Search engines prefer absolute URLs because they directly point to the content. This helps search bots crawl and index your content more easily. Absolute URLs also don’t change if you restructure your site or move content to a new URL.
  • Cons For SEO: If you change domains, absolute URLs will become broken links. You must redirect each link to the new domain to avoid losing link equity and rankings.

Relative URLs

  • Pros For SEO: If you restructure your site or change domains, relative URLs will automatically point to the new location. This prevents broken links and maintains link equity.
  • Cons For SEO: Relative URLs can be more difficult for search bots to crawl and index since they don’t have a full web address. If the content is moved or deleted, relative URLs may lead to 404 errors.


So there you have it. While absolute URLs can help search engines crawl and index your site more efficiently, relative URLs are often better for user experience and internal linking. When it comes down to it, you need to weigh the pros and cons of your specific situation. If search engine optimization is your top priority, absolute URLs may be the way to go. But if providing the best user experience is most important, relative URLs are probably your best bet.

By Vivek Sharma
who is a digital marketing specialist at India’s leading SEO Services company, Better Graph. He often reviews digital marketing strategies for clients with the SEO team and is actively involved in SEO. He regularly consults, trains, and speaks on SEO, PPC, and local search techniques.

Member since November, 2022
View all the articles of Vivek Sharma.

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