URL Length Limit: How Long Can a URL be for SEO?

How long is “too long” for a URL? 

Every single web page on the internet has its own unique URL. Few of them are long and boring, while others are short and sweet. Search engines and users prefer properly optimized, concise URLs. 

Want to master the art of crafting concise and SEO-friendly URL addresses that engage visitors and boost your search rankings? Then, read on.

In this post, you’ll learn;

  • What is a URL address and its importance?
  • How long can a URL be?
  • Best practices on URL length and more

Let’s dive into the details. 

What is a URL?

A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is essentially an address of a webpage on the internet.

It is a unique identifier that identifies a specific resource, such as a web page, image, or document, on a computer network. The URL syntax generally allows letters, numbers, and extra characters.

Here’s an excellent illustration of different parts of a URL;

parts of url

Quick note: Not all URLs will contain every single one of these elements. 

As you can see above, a standard URL consists of the following elements.

Protocol: It specifies the type of resource being accessed. The most common protocols are:

  • http: Hypertext Transfer Protocol, the standard for accessing web pages (not secure).
  • https: Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol is an encrypted version of HTTP that protects data transfer (more secure and HIGHLY recommended).

Subdomain: This is an additional part before the primary domain name, often used to categorize content within a website. For example, we have a subdomain that starts with ebooks.bloggerspassion.com, which we created exclusively to show our eBooks.

Second-level domain: This is the main identifiable name of the website, like “Google.” 

Top-level domain: This indicates the type of website or its geographical location. Common TLDs include .com, .org, .net, .in, etc.

Page path: This specifies the specific location of a web page within the website’s URL structure.


The Importance of URL Length

So, why should you care about creating the ideal URLs? What are the benefits? Let’s find out.

  • Shorter URLs often provide a better user experience as they’re easier to read, remember, and share. 
  • Ideal URL length can often lead to more organic clicks and engagement. The simple reason is that your URL is one of the first things users see on a search results page. If it is optimized correctly, you’ll notice a higher CTR.
  • Long URLs can get truncated in search results (which means they won’t appear in SERP results), potentially reducing overall clicks.
  • With shorter URLs, you can target relevant primary keywords, which ultimately helps with better rankings. Remember, search engines like Google can use keywords in URLs to better understand the page’s content.
  • Above all, shorter URLs can be managed easily compared to longer URLs within your website (while managing broken links, affiliate links, product links, etc).

Maximum URL Length in Different Browsers

So, what is the ideal URL length for SEO?

Here’s the thing: different browsers have different max lengths of URLs. Here’s a quick breakdown of URL length on popular browsers.

  • Chrome: Chrome browser supports a maximum URL length of 2 MB (2048 characters)
  • Firefox: Firefox allows URLS up to a whopping 65,536 characters.
  • Safari: Safari allows for 80,000 characters.
  • Internet Explorer: Internet Explorer allows URLs up to 2,083 long.

Let’s now dive into the best practices for crafting the ideal URLs for your website in 2024.


6 Best Practices for URL Length Limit

url length limit

1. Keep it shorter

Shorter is better when it comes to URL length.

Search engines like Google often truncate lengthy URLs and titles. Also, they prefer shorter URLs. Why? Because they’re easier to crawl and index.

The ideal URL length for SEO is 50 to 60 characters. Don’t try to go beyond 75 characters if you want to craft SEO-friendly URLs.

URLs under 60 characters are ALWAYS better because;

  • They’re more user-friendly, as they’re easier for users to read and remember
  • They’re easier to share
  • They’ll NOT get truncated in search results

The key here is to avoid numbers, codes, session IDs, etc, in URLs (unless they’re absolutely necessary). 

Let’s say you have a blog post on “Best Blogging Tips for Beginners In 2024,” you don’t need to include the year 2024 in the URL.

For example, you can create a shorter URL such as “www.example.com/blogging-tips/” instead of a lengthy URL “www.example.com/best-blogging-tips-for-beginners-2024” 

Not only does it make your URL shorter, but you can update that post effortlessly in the upcoming years. 

2. Use keywords strategically

When it comes to search rankings, your page URLs play an essential role.

Did you know that using relevant keywords in URLs can improve SEO, as search engines can better understand the content of a webpage? That’s true.

Make sure to identify relevant keywords and use them naturally within the URL structure. But make sure to avoid keyword stuffing.

Consider using “long-tail head keywords” as they’re often shorter.

Examples of long-tail head keywords are;

  • Free SEO website audit checklist 
  • Best shoe to buy online
  • Blue running shoes for women

Also, long-tail keywords are easier to rank for and provide higher conversion rates. (Image Source: Backlinko)

long tail keywords

Using hyphens to separate words instead of underscores makes your URL more readable and understandable.

Search engines often consider the keywords mentioned in the URL to understand the “context”. That’s why including relevant keywords in the page URL is important, as it helps search engines understand the content and relevance of the page.

You can use on-page optimization plugins like Rank Math SEO to optimize your URLs for relevant keywords. You can use Rank Math to set a simple permalink URL structure, such as this;

permalinks

All in all, use keywords relevant to the page content if you want to improve your search rankings.

3. Avoid stop words in URLs

“Stop words” are common words that are mostly irrelevant and do NOT contribute much to the meaning of a text. These include words like “a,” “the,” “is,” “are,” “and,” etc.

In a few cases, search engines like Google may NOT consider stop words to help index and crawl web pages faster.

Here are some examples of stop words that you should eliminate while creating URLs:

  • a, an, the
  • is, am, are, was, were, be, being, been
  • of, in, on, at, to, for, from, by
  • as, but, or, and, if, because, then
  • I, you, he, she, it, we, they, me, him, her, us, them
  • This, that, these, those

Also, make use of hyphens while creating URLs.

For example, URLs like “how-to-make-pancakes” are much more understandable than “howtomakepancakes.”

However, you MUST remember to remove stop words only when they don’t add value to the page’s context. In some cases, removing stop words can make URLs shorter but they can completely change the overall context of the URL.

Here’s an excellent illustration of a few examples of how stop words can make your URLs look completely different.

stop words in url

So, what’s the takeaway?

Ultimately, whether or not to remove stop words depends on the specific CONTEXT of the page you’re creating. You must remember that stop words can also be necessary in some contexts. 

4. Use canonical URLs

A canonical URL (or canonical tag) is an HTML code that helps search engines index the correct URL and avoid duplicate content.

If your website uses dynamic pages for things like product listings or user profiles, you’re at risk of accidentally creating duplicate content.

So, you don’t want to get penalized for something you didn’t intentionally do. Here’s where canonical URLs come into play as they clarify which version is the main one.

There are multiple ways to use canonical URLs, including;

  • Use self-referencing canonical tags
  • Specify only one canonical URL per page
  • Use canonical tags for paginated content

While using canonical tags, make sure always to include the full URL. Meaning the URL must include these parts:

  • The HTTPS
  • The www (if it is a part of your preferred domain)
  • Your domain name
  • The .com part

You can read our free guide on using canonical tags to prevent duplicate content issues on your website.

5. 301 Redirect URLs

What if you want to change a URL for any reason?

Don’t change the URLs abruptly, as they can lead to removing a page that Google has indexed and other websites have linked to.

Simply put, changing the existing URL (by adding or removing words) will lead to 404 error pages.

It can ultimately harm your website’s search rankings. Instead, use 301 redirects. A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect that passes full link juice to the redirected page.

Here’s a free tutorial on how to use 301 or 302 redirects properly without losing any SEO value.

6. Don’t include dates

Last but not least, DO NOT include dates in your URLs.

Why? The simple reason is they make your website’s content appear outdated.

Search engines like Google prefer FRESH and NEW content over outdated content.

Also, if your content is evergreen or frequently updated, dates become irrelevant. Removing them makes your URLs more timeless.

Above all, the date doesn’t add value to the URL and make it longer. So, avoid using dates or years in your URLs.

However, there are situations where dates might be useful. For example, you may want to include dates in time-sensitive content such as news articles, event-based blog posts, special announcements, etc. Ultimately, the decision to use dates in URLs primarily depends on your content type and website goals.


FAQs on Ideal URL Length SEO

Here are some of the commonly asked questions about the ideal URL length for SEO.

How long can a URL be?

There is NO thumb rule or common standard for the maximum URL length. However, most browsers will support URLs up to 2,048 characters. 

Does the length of the domain name affect the URL length?

Yes, certainly. The domain name is part of the URL, so a longer domain name will leave less space for the rest of the URL length. For example, “www.ThisIsALongURLName.com” will take more space than “www.ShortURL.com”

How do you deal with long URLs on existing pages?

If you’ve already published blog posts or pages with lengthy URLs, you can use 301 redirects to convert them into shorter ones. Or, if you want to share something on social media sites, you can use URL shorteners.

What happens if I use a URL that is longer than the limit?

If the URLs exceed the maximum number of characters a browser can handle, the browser will simply be unable to load the page or cause errors.

Can I use a URL that is longer for SEO? 

Yes, you can use longer URLs. But it’s generally best to avoid using long URLs for SEO, as search engines truncate them or can have difficulty understanding the page’s context. Also,  longer URLs can be more difficult to remember and type.

Related Posts:


Final thoughts 

Ultimately, the ideal URL length depends on the page you’re creating. But there’s ONE thing to remember: create short, descriptive URLs that clearly convey the page’s content.

Avoid using numbers, years or special characters. URL length isn’t a major ranking factor but can provide a better search and user experience.

So, what are your thoughts on the maximum URL length limit? Did you find this guide helpful? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments. 

About Author
Anil Agarwal is the Founder of Bloggerspassion. He is a full-time blogger and SEO expert who has been helping people build profitable blogs for over a decade Now. He has been featured in Over 100 Publications including Forbes, The HuffPost, HubSpot, Shopify, Semrush, Kinsta, Bluehost, Hostinger and G2.com etc. Know more about Anil Agarwal from here.

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