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I have URLs in Thai language e.g. วิธีการหลีกเลี่ยงข้อผิดพลาดทั้ง-8-ในชีวิตการแต่งงาน. Once it's encoded into ASCII, it becomes extremely long - 466 characters. SEOQuake prompts me that this is an SEO issue.

I understand that URL should be short but is there any chance that my Thai URLs are considered exceptions and they are ok for SEO?

Note that Thai cannot be spelled in Latin charaters and Thai does not have space to break words like most languages.

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1 Answer

Long URLs are a problem because:

  • Some servers have limits to how long a URL they can handle. 1024 and 4096 character limits are common.
  • Long URLs often get truncated when pasted into forums. This causes bots such as Googlebot that look for URLs in page text to start crawling 404s.
  • Long URLs cannot fully be shown in the Google SERPs, they get truncated there too, reducing the click through rate.
  • Multiple parameters which make a URL long cause crawling issues when they are reordered, or when they are optional.

You may certainly choose to use long URLs in spite of these issues. In fact, most of the drawbacks don't apply to your situation. You are under server limits and you don't have multiple parameters. Your URL may even fit in the Google SERPs if Google chooses to show it with Thai characters. The only issue you may face is the truncation issue from forums. You can usually correct those with 301 redirects as the need arises.

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Thanks for sharing @StephenOstemiller! Do you think Google will ready my URL as UTF-8 or ASCII (the count of character will be different then)? –  Eric Nguyen Mar 8 '13 at 6:16
    
Here is an example of Japanese in URLs: google.com/search?q=dmoz+%E3%82%A2%E3%83%BC%E3%83%88 When I look a the SERPs I see that Google does indeed understand the Japanese characters and display them properly in the SERPs. –  Stephen Ostermiller Mar 8 '13 at 11:29
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