Take a recent question:


Instead of having an integer, if we base 36 encode the question ID we get 3uvtn, cutting the length of the integer by 2:


The benefits seem a lot more worthwhile on smaller numbers:




This is more of a theoretical/curiosity question than one I'm seriously considering implementing. Thoughts?

  • Reddit already uses this type of encoding.
    – Kevin Reid
    Commented Jul 22, 2011 at 18:48

1 Answer 1


Shorter URLs don't have any benefit in achieving rankings in Google - if the URL is under 1024 characters you'll be fine - but it can have a big impact on the click-through rate from Google SERPs to your site. Especially now that URLs are shown directly below the page title in Google's search snippet.

So yes anything you can do to make your URL a wee bit shorter, but maintaining its human-readability, is a good thing.

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