What is a permalink and why do I need it?

Before I start my explanation of permalinks, I want to show you two examples so you can refer to them as necessary:

An example of a blog’s main URL (which shows all the posts for a given period of time:
http://www.bloggingbasics101.com

An example of a permalink:
http://www.bloggingbasics101.com/101/2008/11/what-is-a-permalink/

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., as part of a carnival), 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 specific post related to a carnival 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 or the actual post title.
  • Other blogs have other links; many times the permalink is the title of a given post.

One way to figure out which link is the permalink of a post (if it’s not obvious) is to put your curser 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).

This post has be updated. It was originally posted on June 20, 2007.

Comments

  1. thanks for the information mate..
    i was searhing for what a permalink actually is and got a great answer from your website..
    thanks for guiding me towards the right path..

    • Was looking for a way to leave a comment and only found Reply to leave a comment…. Not overly interested in this subject, just wanted to point out how poorly Google presents current information, as per dated material…

      How often have you looked for something only to find out it is dated 3 and 4 years or more back… In the year 2012, I would prefer not to find material from 2008.

      • Mike, thanks for taking the time to comment. I understand what you’re saying, but I do think there are some evergreen topics (such as explaining permalinks to beginning bloggers) that are relevant regardless of date.

        • also stumbled into some Q and found your post very interesting and you definitely answered some concerns I had, so thank you so much. I started my new blog, and I’m searching for different seo technics to improve ranking. Here is my blog:
          http://audrosu.blogspot.ro
          Great post!

        • Agreed. I was looking up some sites that explained the basic basics of permalinks and this post came up nearly on top, and I think Google’s engine made the right call. The basic definition and purpose of a permalink now are exactly what they were 5 years ago – if a site explains a timeless concept well, there’s no reason it should be penalized and pushed down in results.

          • Thank you, Grant. I appreciate it!

          • I have to agree with Melanie because here I am reading and understanding for the first time what a permalink is. Since I don’t have a blog I guess I won’t be clicking on one all that soon but there may be other uses of a permalink. It would be great to hear a couple of other uses for a permanent link. I’m a newbie author and am now becoming a more avid reader; I guess I do things bassackwards, but at least I didn’t start blogging before becoming a reader lol. Now I picked up new terminology… an “evergreen topic.” I like that one. Keep the good advice coming Melanie.

  2. I have clients that are very new with blogging and this has been a big help, I’ll be forwarding this site to them.

  3. Thanks for clearifying the buzz word in weblogs. I’ve been stuck to this word many a times. Now its clear now.

  4. Thanks for this nice article. I also used a CMS site and wanted to know more about permalinks.

    Thanks again

  5. I am so new to this link system. How many back links is considered good for your site. I have noticed that blogger doesn’t let you post back links in the href format.
    Also is having links posted to thousands similarblogs
    E.g. wordpress. is that considered negative?

  6. Whoa! I’m very digging the structure on this site http://www.bloggingbasics101.com/2008/11/what-is-a-permalink. It’s simple, but still efficient. Very often it can be very difficult to obtain that balance between usability and appearance. I must say you have done a fantastic job on this. Also, your blog website loads super fast for me at Firefox. Excellent Blog!

  7. Thanks for the explanation about permalinks.

  8. Thanks for the explanation on permalinks. Until now, I had never used them but from now will ALWAYS use them. Many thanks!

  9. Thank you for the good discussion of permalinks!

  10. Thanks for the explanation. I was confused about this even though I seem to see permalinks all over the place. Thanks again.

  11. Thanks for the explanation once again, just in case my other entry didn’t post.

  12. Great info, thanks. I am now going to (try) to put it to work as I learn to use pinterest to pin my own blog posts.

  13. Thanks for this posting Melanie, very useful. Now, an additional point you may be able to help with is does writing “permalink” in a link make a difference to the search engines? I saw a blog posting once that actually mentioned “permalink:blogpostingpage.php”

    Thanks,
    ake

  14. Ake,

    Having the word “permalink” in your actual permalink will only help you if you’re trying to rank in search engine placement for that word. If that’s not your intent, then there’s no reason to include it. However, it IS important to have “pretty permalinks.” Pretty permalinks look like the one I mention in the article (e.g., http://bloggingbasics101.com/2008/11/what-is-a-permalink) and include the keywords you’re trying to rank for. Sometimes a blog platform (WordPress included) defaults to permalinks that look like this: http://bloggingbasics101.com/p?308 (or something similar). See the difference? The latter example doesn’t have anything for search engines to use to index your article as relevant to search terms. The former example that uses the article title as the permalink includes the keywords I used in the article title. Now when search spiders crawl my site, they can use my permalink to recognize that this article is relevant to searches about my included keywords.

    Hope that helps!
    Melanie

  15. Hello! I just found out that my website is hosted on a Windows Server and that they cannot have permalinks on a Windows server. I am trying to work on my SEO and I would like to know if it is crucual for me to change servers or if I can stay with my windows server and still succeed with SEO. Thanks

  16. Good information about permalinks, thanks for sharing.

  17. Great explaination of permalinks, but doesn’t explain why on an entry I wrote on our WordPress blog site, the word ‘PERMALINK’..yup, in capitals, comes up as a header. It’s driving me mad – I have no idea how to get rid of it.

  18. Thanks a lot for your wonderful post. Personally I’m writing an article about on page SEO and talk about the permalink topic. I will definitely introduce this post as well as your blog to my readers. Thanks again. :)

  19. I understand the power of blogging and always try to collect information how i can improve my blog quality. First time there i am listen about the permalink link it’s really great.

  20. Fathom Savvy says:

    Thanks for posting. Learned something new today.

  21. Thanks so much its very useful about related issues.

  22. Its very useful for the bloggers.

  23. Can a custom permalink on Blogger be made after the post is published? I tried to edit the one that was automatically created, but was unable to do it.

  24. Can a custom permalink be made after the post is completed? I tried to edit the one that was automatically created, but was unable to do it.

  25. thank you for giving information.. Now, an additional point you may be able to help with is does writing “permalink” in a link make a difference to the search engines?

  26. Thanx for this aweosome info

  27. I changed some dates to make some posts more visible. I do not remember the original dates or times and now I think I broke the links. Do you know how I can switch it back?

  28. OMG, I can’t believe that I’ve never used this permalink before. Thanks for the enlightment, Melanie! Now I’m gonna start using that!

  29. Its awesome post. Permalink is important for search engines optimization, readers also need permalinks sometimes to see what exactly they are going to read.

  30. Thank you for this site. I Googled the word permalink and found multiple definitions and explanations of the word. More important I found this site. A lot of valuable information and tips to make my blog a better product for my readers. Thank you

  31. Very informative post, thank you. This is a great blog with plenty of usable information. You have just got yourself an avid new follower. Great work!!

  32. Many thanks that has been useful,

  33. really a help full article i just saw your URL at google when i was looking to know about permalink thanks & regards
    kapil

  34. Thank you so much so much for explaining permalinks, I was having a hard time figuring out how to use them and also what exactly they where.

  35. Hello Melanie Nelson,
    I am new to Blogging. when i searched the Google, your’s came in the 3rd place. I understood what is permalink and what it does in the blog. I just saw this page and wanted to leave a appreciation for your work. Hopefully Thanks for your efforts to let me know what was i looking for.
    I will take some more time to look all your website.
    thank and regards,
    Raja

  36. Thanks for coming by Philip! Thanks for the kind words.

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