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.