February 4, 2009
I've been researching absolute vs. relative links and there seem to be two camps -- one that advocates absolute as better for SEO purposes and the other that says that absolute links won't improve your rank. My site is set up with relative links, so is it worth the effort to change them to absolute?
I'm surprised you found anything in your research that mentioned absolute or relative links as helping or hurting SEO because they are not an SEO issue.
For those who aren't familiar with the terminology, absolute links are coded into your HTML as the entire website URL, like:
rather than simply /example.htm.
But it's all the same to the search engines either way you code them.
The only time where it is helpful to use absolute links is if you have more than one domain parked at the same website. This is because you wouldn't want the search engines to index your website under both URLs, which they might do if they get to the additional domain and it has relative links on it. If it has absolute links, they'll always click back to the "real" site.
Of course, these days, you should be 301-redirecting any additional domains rather than parking them anyway, in which case it wouldn't be an issue.
Jill Whalen is the CEO of High Rankings, a Boston SEO Services company.
If you learned from this article, be sure to sign up for the High Rankings Advisor SEO Newsletter so you can be the first to receive similar articles in the future!