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Once again, I tested some URL's of my site via powermapper tools, and now I receive the following issue:

W3C Best Practices - Some pages violate these guidelines.

Keep URLs shorter than 78 characters so they don't wrap when emailed.

It also refers me to: http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/NOTE-chips-20030128/#gl1

W3C states that short URLs are "a practical goal to pursue".

My longest URL so far is roughly 80 to 100 characters in length. Other sources claim 100 characters for a URL is fine.

The problem is if I use a URL that is too short, then the URL will become less friendly to the user. I also read that google truncates URLs displayed in search results to 78 characters.

I just find the reasons I need short URLs (according to the report) a bit silly because no one writes URLs by hand much anymore and I don't email URLs and if I did, I'd try to write up an HTML email instead. Also, the visitors of my website have no interest in manually remembering URLs. All they care about are large pictures and will make clicks to them from the homepage which is a URL which is way under 25 characters in length.

My question is, is it really necessary to make the URLs under 78 characters even though mine go no longer than 100 characters? and how will the length really affect SEO?

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Technically, a URL can be 2083 characters long but some say the real limit is 2000. I am not about to test this.

Okay. Not what you are looking for?

Remember that there is a lot of advice out there some of it very real, some silly as [redacted], and some culled completely from the dark smelly nether-regions (you know... New Jersey!).

The practical reality is that the URL should be short enough to be attractive and long enough to be descriptive. People will click on a longer link, but the psychology behind it seems to be that people will look at a link to see if they trust it. That being said, the URL should have the most important elements left most without too much suspicious gobblety-gook (technical term) following. It is a trust thing as much as a "Where the heck are you taking me?" thing.

It would be interesting to know that the URL to this question is 112 characters in length and truncated to 73 including any ellipsis (...) which I am including in my counts. That is a good length, but a shorter URL would be better. For example, questions/79166/ is 16 characters that is not needed.

Your largest size range of 80-100 seems okay to me.

The biggest things to remember is this:

  • Dilute the ranking power of any given URL keyword
  • May hurt usability and click-through rates
  • May get cut off when people copy-and-paste
  • May get cut off by social media applications
  • Are a lot harder to remember

(Taken from: http://moz.com/blog/should-i-change-my-urls-for-seo)

As for search. Search engines do not care as long as the URL works. Really.

But I would like to address the Dilute the ranking power of any given URL keyword point made above. It is important that URLs, title tags, description meta-tags, and h1 tags should be tightly crafted to be succinct, properly keyword weighted, conversational, and catchy.

As for the 78 character length you mentioned, I took a truncated URL from the Google SERPs and counted 69 characters but I also saw one truncated at only 48 characters.

People do look at this of course. But I also suspect that they do what I do and hover the mouse over the SERP link. But still, this supports my theory that the most important elements be left most within the URL. Between the SERP link, the URL representation below, and the snippet (hopefully) taken from the description, all should all be supportive of each other and center on what a searcher is looking for- that is- search intent. In this case, it is about CTR.

I do no think it is important that you focus too much on URL length given what you have told us. But if you are able to shorten the URLs, then keep what I said in mind.

  • Then I should be ok. The reasons why my URL is long is because on my website, theres a collection of photos from clubs, and the URL contains the name of the club as well as the full date of when the party happened. My url is very logical but I just wasn't sure if google would do down-rank anyone for long URLs. – Mike Apr 14 '15 at 23:49

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