What is the difference between absolute links and relative links?

  • An absolute link provides the complete website address and contains more information than a relative link, but relative links are more convenient because they are shorter.
  • Relative links are used to link to pages within your own domain; Absolute links are necessary to use when linking to pages with a different domain and your own
  • Pages that use a relative URL will load more quickly than pages using absolute links


This link is relative if the path is not a full website address. (A full website address includes http://www.)                                                                           

<a href=”linkhere.html“>Click Me</a> 

<a href=”../stories/stories.html”>Read Stories</a>  

  • Relative links make it easy to do things like change your domain name without having to go through all your HTML pages, hunting down links and changing the names.


The domain name of the website, including http://www  ex:


<a href=”http://www.coffeecup.com”>Click here to visit CoffeeCup Software.</a>                                    

  • An absolute URL makes it harder for people to scrape information from your website using scraper programs. If you have all of your internal links as relative links, it would be very easy for a scraper to simply scrape your entire website and put it up on a new domain.

Relative Paths

  • index.html
  • /graphics/image.png
  • /help/articles/how-do-i-set-up-a-webpage.html

Absolute Paths

  • http://www.mysite.com
  • http://www.mysite.com/graphics/image.png
  • http://www.mysite.com/help/articles/how-do-i-set-up-a-webpage.html

SEO value is better for absolute links and relative links?

The debate between absolute links and relative links continues to live on in the SEO world. The individual significance of each has been contested, but it is widely regarded that absolute links provide better SEO value on the whole than relative links.

Many believe that absolute links have less potential for getting messed up when search engines index your page. It shouldn’t really make a difference, but many conclude that this is reason enough.

Furthermore, content scrapers and RSS services may ‘repurpose’ your content legitimately (or not). In either case, shouldn’t a proper back-link be attributed to your site? This situation favours absolute links. Although this is a minor argument, it’s still worth considering.

Riviera Hosting FACEBOOK profile, follow us

Contact with us