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I was wondering if one is better off to have relative URL's for internal links vs absolute URL's?

<a href="aboutus.html">About us </a>

vs

<a href="http://www.example.com/aboutus.html">About us </a>

Do search engines prefer any particular format?

Also are relative URL's helpful to ensure the website is secure particularly if you have gone in for SSL certification for the website?

marked as duplicate by Simon Hayter Feb 7 '17 at 11:43

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This is something we actually looked into recently. We have heard that absolute URLs have a number of benefits over relative such as preventing scrapers, preventing duplicate content issues and increasing Google's chances of crawling your entire site when it reaches it's crawl limit (see this Moz video for more depth). However, we use relative URLs as we have staging sites which contain our internal links, and we would have to change them all when we deployed updates to reflect the different domain names. Therefore, it depends on what works best for you.

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    The quality of that linked Moz article is fiercely debated in the comments. Can't say as I really agree with it either. "preventing scrapers" - that is a bit strong. The argument raised is more that absolute links might deter scrapers (but even that is dubious IMO). – MrWhite Feb 7 '17 at 16:15
  • I would say as many as possible should be absolute. I did not used to feel that way, however, I have been making them absolute for a very long time now, perhaps 10-15 years. Scrappers has always been a consideration, however, I discovered that with the CMS I created, providing an absolute URL is more than a simple thing. I am sure it is as well for other CMSs too. – closetnoc Feb 7 '17 at 21:33

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