The length of the URL, the address of a web page? Better to stay under 2,000 characters. This is the measure to follow to ensure that a resource is always visible and reachable. On any combination of browser and server.
Then there are guidelines to follow for usability and on-page SEO. So to respect people and help search engines in the work of understanding.
The topics of the post
- The length of the URLs for SEO
- How long should a URL be?
- Is there a URL limit for the various browsers?
- URL length for search engines
- The ideal URL length in your opinion?
The length of the URLs for SEO
Before giving indications on the maximum and ideal length of the address, it is right to suggest one point: the SEO optimization of web pages prefers speaking and short URLs.
Google’s own SEO guide suggests creating short, descriptive URLs. With a few easy-to-recognize keywords and no strings of incomprehensible letters and numbers. This is also one of the reasons why, as soon as you open a blog with the WordPress CMS, you have to change the permalink structure to avoid generating an IP-only address.
So an SEO friendly URL, optimized for search engines, does not have a minimum or a maximum number of keywords to enter but a few rules to respect:
- Use short URLs whenever possible.
- Don’t enter unnecessary keywords.
- Avoid an infinite number of directories.
- Remove unnecessary stop world.
- Do not enter special characters.
- Use only alphanumeric characters.
I would not dwell too much on finding ways to reduce the number of characters in every possible way. What is needed is to eliminate words – even potential extra keywords – that don’t help people understand the page’s content.
How long should a URL be?
According to the rules of the HTTP protocol, there should be no limit to the number of characters in URIs. We start with the parameters of the RFC 2616 directives, here:
The HTTP protocol does not place any a priori limit on the length of a URI. Servers MUST be able to handle the URI of any resource they serve and SHOULD be able to handle URIs of unbounded length if they provide GET-based forms that could generate such URIs. A server SHOULD return 414 status if a URI is longer than the server can handle.
Hence the HTTP protocol does not place limits on the length of a URI. Servers must handle any string if provided with forms based on getting request methods.
If there is any problem a server should return error 414 (Request-URI Too Long). It means that the URL is too long for the client, it cannot be managed.
This parameter has been deprecated and replaced by RFC 7230. Where it is emphasized that, in practice, some limitations may exist. But HTTP senders and recipients, hence clients and servers, have to sustain 8,000 octets.
What is the difference between Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) and Uniform Resource Locator (URL)? The first refers only to resources that can be identified, URLs also allow you to locate an element to be reached.
Is there a URL limit for the various browsers?
In the case of Windows software, the directives are clear: for Internet Explorer, each URL should have a maximum of 2,083 characters. Which in practice become 2.048. Chrome has no defined limits, the same goes for Firefox, Safari, and Opera.
URL length for search engines
Bing supports a length of 2,047 characters, Google less: 1,855. In any case, John Mueller has given interesting information on this point. In 2019, in a webinar, he pointed out that URLs should stay under 1,000 characters.
Already in 2009, Mueller stated that Google can index pages with URLs greater than 1,000 characters but it is not necessarily a good idea.
The ideal URL length in your opinion?
For KissAnime, a URL must be easy to read, type, remember and dictate. The same is true when you have to choose a domain for the blog. Do you agree? How do you choose the URL of your best article? Leave your idea in the comments.