What Is A URL?

What is a URL?

URL is the abbreviation for Uniform Resource Locator which is used to specify addresses on the Internet. A URL is the essential network identification for any resource connected to the web such as a file, directory, HTML page, image, program etc.  simply specifying the location of that resource stored on a local or networked computer. 

According to RFC 3986: Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax:

A Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) is a compact sequence of characters that identifies an abstract or physical resource.

The term “Uniform Resource Locator” (URL) refers to the subset of URIs that, in addition to identifying a resource, provide a means of locating the resource by describing its primary access mechanism (e.g., its network “location”).

What are the components of a URL?

URL Components

  • The protocol is https which stands for "HyperText Transport Protocol Secure". It is used by web browsers to get web pages, and the most common is not https but http. There may be other protocols ftp, mailto, file.
  • The host or hostname is www.searchdatalogy.com
  • The subdomain is www.
  • The domain name is searchdatalogy.com.
  • The top-level domain or TLD is com.
  • The path is /search/. Path typically refers to a file name or location on the web server.
  • This URL has a parameter. The name of the parameter is q and the value of that parameter is  seo.  URLs can include many parameters. Parameters start with a question mark (?) and are separated with an ampersand (&).
  • The fragment is #result. That’s called a fragment or a named anchor. Usually the fragment refers to an internal section within a web document.
  • The port is most of the time a hidden element in a URL. In this URL the port is 443,  which is the default port for the protocol https. For the protocol http, the default port is 80.

What is a static URL?

A static URL is a URL which does not change, so it typically does not contain any url parameters.

This is a static url:


What is a dynamic URL?

A dynamic URL displays different information depending on the query, by loading the content from a database. Its content can change with different page loads. It is possible to identify dynamic URLs  by looking for characters like: ? = &.

This is a dynamic url:


What is an absolute URL?

An absolute URL contains all the information necessary to locate a resource (or a file).

An absolute URL uses the following format: protocol://hostname/path/file

What is a relative URL?

A relative URL locates a file using an absolute URL as a starting point. The target can be specified by concatenating the absolute and relative URLs.

A relative URL typically consists only of the path, and optionally, the file, but no protocol or hostname.

What is an SEO-compliant URL?

An SEO-compliant URL is a URL of a page which

  • Returns HTTP 200 OK status code. It does not return other status codes; it doesn't respond with redirection or error
  • Is not duplicated or is not an alternate version of another page; the page does not include a canonical tag to another URL. It can either have no canonical tag, or a canonical tag to itself.
  • Has an HTML content type.
  • Has not any Noindex meta tag.

What is the maximum length of a URL for SEO?

Not entering into any details, URLs under 2000 characters will work in virtually any combination of client and server software.

Here is what John Mueller from Google said  at Google Webmaster Help thread  on 07/03/2014. 

URL Length SEO

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