I posed a question around 404 errors appearing on our website last year where i am seeing URLs now still coming out of Search Console appearing like this:
But where the actual URL is this:
The answer as i'd understood it was to use 'root relative linking' and not 'document relative linking'. As the URLs in my HTML are relative, this suggested that somewhere in the site, possibly in the navigation, i have an error (i still do not understand where), and this is where the concept of root relative linking was suggested.
So instead of using a nav link that reads:
i should use a nav link that reads:
But there seems to be a problem with this. Unless i'm mistaken, the additional forward slash at the beginning tells the browser that the link i've inserted is relative to the root directory.
this means that i can add a link to any page at any depth on the website that reads "href="/../../../../../directory/document.html" as long as the file path listed above is correct?
This seems to be leading to more 404 errors at this stage.
What this leaves me with is the question: should i still be using the standard file path indicator of "../" dependent on how deep the document i am linking from is located?
Basically, with SEO and 404 errors in mind, which of the following is the correct option to use when linking within HTML documents?
href="../../about/history.html" (without the leading slash)
href="/../../about/history.html" (with the leading slash)
In a nutshell - should i use root relative linking for all my links across the website? or document relative links? And should this extend to all image and document files as well?
I'll apologise (again) in advance if this sounds dim, and also if the explanation is less than clear. But it's driving me crazy at this point!