What is a permalink and why do I need it?

This article also has a podcast:

A permalink is the link to an individual blog post. These are important because if you ever need to link to an exact blog entry (e.g., for a Works-For-Me Wednesday post), you use the permalink as your link. It’s poor blog etiquette not to use the permalink.

If you don’t use the permalink, you’ll just be linking to your main blog page. The problem with that is that, as you post new blog entries, the newest entry appears at the top of your main blog page and the other entries are pushed down on the page. The entry your readers are looking for may be down at the bottom of the page or already in the archives; your reader has no idea where to find the entry! If they click over to your site expecting to see a Works-For-Me Wednesday post and they see a different post, they may not take the time to find the "real" post they’re looking for.

You can find the permalink link under any blog entry. However, not all blog hosts/designs handle permalinks the same way.

  • Typepad blogs: There’s a link that actually says Permalink under the entry.
  • Blogger: The link varies. It’s usually the time stamp of the post. You can see an example at Shalee’s Diner. Under her posts it says Posted by Shalee at 8:34 AM. That 8:34 AM is the permalink.
  • Other blogs have other links. One example is Everyday Mommy. Her permalink is the title of her post.

One way to figure out which link is the permalink of a post (if it’s not obvious) is to put your pointer over each link under or above a post. As you hover over a link a little box should come up that says permalink. If it doesn’t, that link probably isn’t your permalink and you should move on to the next link.

Once you find the permalink, click on it and you’ll be taken to a page with just that blog entry on it. Snazzy, huh? Now, to link to that page you just need to copy the URL in the address bar and use it where ever you were inserting your link (e.g., a Mr. Linky or a blog contest). It will look something like this:

http://rocksinmydryer.typepad.com/shannon/2006/07/works_for_me_br/

15 Responses

  1. Cindy July 18, 2007 / 7:23 am

    So I forgot to do this on WFMW this week, but is there a way to go back and adjust it on the list on Rocks in my Dryer page?

  2. donetta August 2, 2007 / 6:03 pm

    Enjoy your works for me list!

  3. Julie August 11, 2007 / 11:25 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’d type that all in caps but then you’d think I was screaming at you!! :-) I’m printing this off so I can read it while I ‘help’ our 2 year old go to sleep. You must have put in a tremendous amount of time and effort to help us blog newbies. I can not tell you enough how much this will help me.
    Have a great weekend!

  4. Julie August 11, 2007 / 11:26 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’d type that all in caps but then you’d think I was screaming at you!! :-) I’m printing this off so I can read it while I ‘help’ our 2 year old go to sleep. You must have put in a tremendous amount of time and effort to help us blog newbies. I can not tell you enough how much this will help me.
    Have a great weekend!

  5. KYouell August 28, 2007 / 4:08 pm

    I use Blogger and have found that when I don’t use the “link” field (right under the “title” field), that my title is also a permalink to that entry. Once I discovered that I ceased using that link field. If the reason for my entry is to point people somewhere I put that in the posting, instead of making my title a link to elsewhere.

  6. Kim August 28, 2007 / 6:43 pm

    Blogger.com automatically populates the Blogger Previous Items sidebar each time you enter a post. Our “Previous Posts” links are not working. When I view the source code they are indeed coded to the wrong url. Looks like I need to change the $BlogItemPermalinkURL$ to the correct url but I can’t seem to find out where to change the setting for this url. Any thoughts? Thank you.

  7. Mercy September 5, 2007 / 6:30 pm

    This seems just so hard to follow for little old me! But I found your blog and I love it and I want to give you my comments regarding “WORKS FOR ME WEDNESDAY”. I’m with you an your brands… we pretty much use the same. HOWEVER, my husband recently insisted that we buy the Food Lion brand papertowels (which they claim on the shelf are comparable to Bounty)… honestly, I couldn’t tell the difference. I have been using Bounty for YEARS. The Food Lion price was less than half!

  8. Jennifer October 17, 2007 / 12:17 am

    I can’t figure this out.. I have tried all links on my blogger site and none of them say permalink. The date under my posts just has the date when I put my cursor there. ??

  9. gina October 31, 2007 / 9:59 am

    I think I did that permalink thing?? I hope it works!

  10. Misty October 31, 2007 / 3:23 pm

    Shannon, I hope I did this right also! I am hosting a give-away through my site for the fall giveaways…

  11. Jude January 10, 2008 / 7:41 am

    Thank you. Podcast + entry = perfect companions to help blog-infant me toward the “next” step. Currently @ just enough blogging experience to make me a bit dangerous – clueless as to permalink-ery and any other link-ery. This gives me HOPE and much-needed practical help. woo hoo! now…we’ll see if the old broad gets it, for real! haha Thanks!

  12. Judy January 10, 2008 / 9:12 am

    Success! Twice! Thrice!!!
    Thank you.

    No, seriously. Me think’s it’s my new favorite thing to do. It works. I worked it. All’s good. Good teacher – you. You speak in “easy-to-get-it” language – not,however, “baby talk” – language that I was able to LEARN from without making a newbie feel more “computer-stupid” than I often feel, anyway! hoo hoo!!

    I think I’m going to enroll in the “School of Blogging Basics 101″ and learn more…
    another day, many “other” days…it’s all good.

    Thanks!

  13. Jeannie November 4, 2008 / 3:46 pm

    OMG!!! Where have you been?????

    I no longer have to wonder about this “techie stuff”, I no longer have to be the dumb blogger, this is a great day for me people!!!

    WOOOO HOOOO!!!!!

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