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Absolute Relative Links How Do They Rank

title:Absolute & Relative Links How Do They Rank?

author:Martin Lemieux


date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:20



The question for this article is whether or not you should use "absolute url's" or "relative url's"? Not only that, this article researches whether or not Google ranks these methods differently.

Absolute: You use the entire url pointing to the designated page.


Relative: You use an automatic path to the file

ex. /page1/index.html

Relative gives a path that is "assumed". Your browser will automatically "assume" to put before the link.

When researching these two methods, I used 4 factors to consider:

20 Different popular search terms

Top 20 listings

Top 10 "Inbound Links" for pages within the site

Relative/Absolute urls NOT images

So here's the results of this study:

The average results within the 20 search terms had a ratio of: Absolute 40% / Relative 60%

The average inbound links for each site I researched had a ratio of: Absolute %50 / Relative 50%

So it seems safe to say that Google doesn't necessarily rank "absolute/relative" paths differently.

Google may recognize the fact that neither method is wrong, it only reflects the designers preference.

There's only 1 type of Absolute and Relative paths that get a bad rank. Web sites that use "tracking url's" or data base urls get a significant reduction in page rank emmediately.

The easiest way to notice this in action is to go to (Online games). You would think that pogo has a great rank but nope, in fact their main page rank is 0/10. This happens because every time google crawls through their url, the site is different.

So if you care about page rank, keep your url's the same as the day your site was born!