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What is Permalink?

A permalink, also known as a permanent link, is a type of universal resource locator (URL) that is designed to remain unchanged over time. The consistency helps ensure that browser bookmarks, backlinks, internal links, and search engine result pages (SERPs) continue to point to the correct content.


Permalinks are designed to be persistent even if the content is updated. If the content is moved or the website structure changes, permalinks can be adjusted or redirected to ensure they remain functional.

Image explaining the meaning of permalink

Key Takeaways

  • A permalink is a type of persistent URL.
  • Permalinks should be human-readable and SEO-friendly.
  • If a permalink needs to be changed after publication, a 301 redirect will ensure users and search engines can still find the content.
  • Content management systems automatically generate permalinks when content is published.
  • Most CMS applications provide users with the option to customize permalinks before publication.

How Permalink Works

When you create a new web page, you will need to create a permalink that ensures anyone with the link can access the web page content.

Most content management systems (CMSes) use the content’s title to generate a slug automatically, but users often have the option to customize permalink slugs manually for better readability or search engine optimization (SEO).

If you are using WordPress as your CMS, you may be able to choose from several preset permalink structures or even create a custom structure to match your specific needs and preferences, depending on your subscription plan.

Permalink Structure

Permalink structure elements typically include the website’s domain name, the content type, and a slug. A slug is the unique part of the URL that identifies the specific page or post.

Slugs typically include keywords and are based on the content’s title. Words in the slug are separated with hyphens because Google and other popular search engines consider hyphens to be the same as spaces.

Permalink vs. Dynamic Links

Permalinks are static, human-readable URLs that remain constant even if the content body is updated and the dynamic content that surrounds the body changes.

In contrast, a dynamic link is generated by the server in response to a specific query or request. Dynamic links typically include a question mark (?) followed by a series of key-value pairs.

Image comparing permalink and dynamic link

Five Tips for Creating SEO-Friendly Permalinks

SEO-friendly permalinks are concise. They include relevant keywords, exclude special characters, and separate words with hyphens. Permanent link structures can sometimes be altered and still resolve correctly, but they will break if changed significantly.

Here are five tips to ensure your permalinks are SEO-friendly:

  • Make your permalinks concise and to the point. Avoid unnecessary words and focus on the main topic to make the URL easy for humans to read and remember.
  • Exclude special characters from your permalinks. Search engines associate them with dynamic links, which are not indexed as thoroughly as permanent links.
  • Choose keywords in your permalinks carefully to reflect the page’s content. This will help search engines understand the web page’s topic and improve organic search
  • Separate words with hyphens (-) rather than underscores or other characters to improve readability and SEO.
  • If you absolutely need to change a permalink after publishing, set up a 301 redirect and update internal links on your site that point to the old URL.

Permalink Examples

Here are some examples of SEO-friendly permalinks on the Techopedia website:

Definition Title: “What Is Tokenomics?”


Website Page Title: “About Techopedia”


The Role of Permalinks in Building Websites

Permalinks play an important role in building websites because their structure can enhance the site’s branding, professional appearance, and trustworthiness. Permanent links can also help prevent link rot, which is important for external sites linking to your content.

From an SEO perspective, permalinks that include relevant keywords can help improve search engine rankings and allow search engine bots to crawl the site more efficiently.

Permalink Pros and Cons

Keywords in permanent links offer significant advantages in terms of SEO, and well-crafted permalinks can make your site seem more professional and trustworthy.

It’s important to remember, however, that permalinks require careful keyword planning, and any changes made after publication can result in broken links.

Pros pros

  • Provides a reliable link to specific content on the Internet
  • Improves search engine rankings by including relevant keywords
  • Can be read and understood by humans
  • Can enhance the site’s credibility and trustworthiness

Cons cons

  • Changes to the permalink structure can create broken links
  • Requires keyword research and competitive analysis
  • Can become excessively long if not carefully crafted
  • Some CMSs have default settings for permalinks. Customization may require technical knowledge

The Bottom Line

Permanent link’s meaning is often misunderstood, but the term simply refers to a type of URL that is unlikely to change over time.

While permalinks are designed to be persistent, in real life, they are not always truly permanent. If a website undergoes significant restructuring, the permalinks might need to be adjusted or redirected to fit the new architecture.


What is the permalink in simple terms?

What is the difference between a permanent link and a permalink?

What is an example of a permalink?

What is the purpose of a permalink?

What is the difference between a URL and a permalink?

How do I get a permalink?



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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.