Get Rid of The “Permalink” Link

By Daniel Scocco

Until a couple of years ago, most blogs and blogging platforms used to display a “Permalink” link on the meta section below each post. Some blogs still do, like Seth Godin‘s one, as the picture below illustrates:

permalinks

I believe this trend emerged from the fact that blogs used to have a standard look, will full posts being displayed on the homepage. As a consequence, some beginner bloggers and webmasters would wrongly link to the homepage expecting to link to one specific post.

To solve this problem, people came with the “Permalink” link. Basically a link that would point to the single and definitive URL of any specific post inside the blog.

Personally, however, I feel that “Permalinks” are obsolete these days, and that bloggers should just get rid of them.

First of all because blogs have evolved a lot over the last couple of years, and we have all sorts of formats around today. Many blogs use only excerpts on the homepage, others use a magazine style and so on. This makes the “Permalink” link less useful and universally recognizable.

Secondly, even back in the day when all blogs displayed full posts on the homepage, those “Permalinks” were pretty much redundant information. That is because the title of each post would also link to the single and definitive URL of that post inside the blog (check Seth’s blog again to see that), so why would we need a second link for that very same function?



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41 Responses to “Get Rid of The “Permalink” Link”

  • Laurin

    Thanks for answering this for me. As a new blogger, I just couldn’t figure out the point of also having a permalink below the post.

  • Kevin

    I actually think it can be useful. Yes the link is displayed at the top pf the post however if the blog post is pretty long you are forcing the person to scroll back up to the top to get the link.

    I agree with you that blogs which use excerpts don’t need it as much but those which display blogs in full could find it useful, particularly for those long posts.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Kevin, I am not sure. We got deal with statistics here. What percentage of the people that read your post will link to it? I would say that that is goes from 0% to 2% at most.

    I don’ think therefore that this justifies putting a special link on all your post meta sections for them, just to make sure they won’t need to move their scroll wheel a bit 🙂 .

    For blogs that post really long posts I agree with you though, this feature could help. It is like the same thing that Gmail does with the send buttons on the email editor.

  • Muhammad Siyab

    Yeah, Daniel, you have a point. I don’t use these permalinks too

    It seems strange to me too, that you have your post title and the permalink stuff both linking to the same thing… the post title is enough, IMVHO

  • Drew

    I have the “Permalink” link in the footer for posts in my RSS Feed only, next to the “Comments” link. I’m pretty comfortable with that right now.

    But I do agree with you…”Permalink” links on the site are very optional. “Permalink” links in the footer of your RSS Feed posts might be a good idea. I want to provide a few different opportunities for a reader to click onto my site from their feed reader.

  • Brandon Cox | eGrace Creative

    But what about a site like Seth’s that does have a lengthy list of full posts on the front page? Many users still won’t know to click the post title to get the permalink. If it’s unobtrusive, what’s it hurt?

  • David Bradley

    Might be interesting to compile a list of A-list blogs still using this arcane link.

  • Scott Fillmer

    Good point, I haven’t used a permalink link on the main index page of my blog in a while but it is still on the actual post right before the comments section from within the post itself along with the trackback, tags, and cats. There are so many ways to utilize traffic from blogs these days, I would hope someone wanting to use my permalink for something would just cut and paste the title from my home page 🙂

  • Franklin Bishop

    Yeah, I think most people understand that when they link to a blog post they do not use the URL of the homepage. However, sometimes new bloggers will do this because they still do not understand completely yet. So I do not think that it is not that bad if you still have a “permalink’ link underneath each blog post. Trust me, it is not going to scare away any visitors that may come to your web site.

  • kellex

    I couldn’t agree more. My first few months of blogging it took me a while to even realize what the hell the “permalink” was since it seemed obvious that the post title was your “permalink”. Goofy bloggers.

  • Kevin

    Yes I agree with you that the % of people who use it small. I don’t use it on any of my blogs but I can see why some people might add it. There may only be 2% of people using it but perhaps it’s worth adding for that 2%. I personally don’t use tags on my site, neither do I use them on other blogs, but I can see why people would use them. In that respect, perhaps I should use tags so that people who do use them are accomodated. I guess the same argument could be made of the permalink.

    To be honest, this is something I would need to look into as before today I hadn’t really given it much thought 🙂

  • Jay Tillery

    Permalinks are still useful in terms of building accessible sites. Your titles don’t look like links on Daily Blog Tips because they aren’t underlined as web links are suppose to be. Neither are they on Seth Godin’s site, but he does make it a point to underline permalinks/trackbacks for a reason, they draw me into ways of promoting or bookmarking (not socially) the post. DBT doesn’t do that.

    Before trying to do away with a standard, focus on how to make your blog more accessible.

  • SE7EN

    I just realized that your title on single post page doesn’t link to the post itself too. I read from somewhere (this blog?) and used to use this approach, but then I realized that some people may need it to just refresh the post (and one of those people is me. lol -and yes I know F5 but sometimes I’m in mouse-only mode lol)

    I get rid of permalink
    and I remove trackback link too no matter the posts are enable or disable for trackback. People still can pingback or guess trackback url if they know WordPress well enough.

    I put full url (unlink for unredundant and to not make it obvious) and my name under everypost to make it easy to people that spead my content in forums (it’ll autolink url anyway)

    sometimes Firefox with autolink extension lead people to mislink as it put my name as part of the url

  • SE7EN

    oh and I just want to know the reason that you don’t link your name in comment section to the homepage. some people may not know that you’re the author of this blog lol.

  • Jay Tillery

    I think you need to first clean home before trying to clean the house of someone else. 😉

  • Rick Rottman

    Permalinks obsolete? How about using “www”?

  • Seth Godin

    Permalink takes up no extra room, requires no effort on the part of the blogger, and most of all (this is the big one) it is a subtle but clear signal that it’s okay to grab a link and point back. Signals are important, even if they’re redundant.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Jay Trillery, first thing: instead of trying to back up your argument that “Permalinks are still useful in terms of building accessible sites” you talked about something unrelated?

    I made 2 very clear points to defend my view that “Permalinks” links are obsolete. Where are yours?

    Secondly, I think that underlining or not hyperlinks, as of today, is a matter of style on each website. One can have a website where links are easy to recognize and yet not underlined.

    Check AListApart.com for example. Their titles on the homepage are just colored, like mine.

    According to your comment, though, Zeldman is making a mistake there and not making his site accessible right?

  • Daniel Scocco

    @SE7EN, yeah my titles on single post pages are not hyperlinked for SEO purposes and because I really don’t see logic on that as well. Most browsers come with a big “Refresh” button, and that is the only case you would use the link right?

    I will add a like to my name though, guess it is a good suggestion 🙂 .

  • Jay Tillery

    @Daniel

    My main point is you are one person ranting about how obsolete permalinks links are. My argument is that they are still very useful to a lot of people and I used the usability/accessibility factor of your site to prove it.

    You mentioned a list apart, that’s a style guide. Look at w3.org and useit.com to understand where I’m coming from.

    You totally don’t have a voice to do away with permalinks, they are still useful.

    Don’t get offensive, I’m just saying that they are still very useful to people entering the blogosphere or your website for the first time.

  • charley

    i love the permalink! i use it when directing people to old posts…. how else would i be able to do this if it weren’t for the permalink? you can always trust that people will have the time or will to scroll through days or even months of posts.
    i love it, and am glad it is a function.
    🙂

  • Ben

    I’m just curious. Is the “continue reading” that is on the homepage of numerous blogs, the new permalink that used to be at the bottom of the post?

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Jay Tillery, one person? Until a couple of years ago almost all blogs had those links. Take a look today, I think at most 30% of the blogs still employ them.

    But hey, everyone is entitled to an opinion, that is why we keep open comments around here 🙂 .

    Thanks for reading the blog anyway.

  • Ari Herzog

    Keep in mind that every “permanent link” is not the same as every URL showing in the location bar.

    I can’t think of an example offhand, but I sometimes see differences. In this sense, if you want to “link” to the page in your blog, use the permalink, not the browser location link.

  • Nick Stamoulis

    Great tidbit… been asked this before actually!

  • Jay Tillery

    @Ben, the “read more” is a link to the full blog post. So , I guess you can call it a permalink.

    @Daniel, I love your site, but today I just didn’t agree with you and spoke up.

    A onde voce morava em Brasil? (Where did you live in Brazil?)

  • Marion

    Interesting point, Daniel.

    Like Seth, I use Typepad for my blog and unless I’m mistaken, you cant remove that Permalink link under each posting.

    I’m also not sure that people always understand they can click the post title for its URL but agree that these same people would be unlikely to know what a “permalink” was!

    Marion

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Ari, the only place where this could happen is on the homepage, category pages and so on. On the page of the article itself it must be equal, else there is something wrong there 🙂 .

    @Ben, yeah the “Continue reading” is a similar thing. But on my blog at least it has a very clear purpose: to entice and encourage the visitor on the homepage page to click and check the article in full.

    @Jay Tillery, no big deal, in fact I appreciate when readers bring different points of views.

  • Susan

    Good point. I never really understood why it was there in the first place.

  • Wakish

    Definetly. permalink is obsolete. I’m surprised at seeing that a blogger like Seth still has it.

    Cheers!
    – Wakish –
    (http://wakish.com)

  • Adam Singer

    “Like Seth, I use Typepad for my blog and unless I’m mistaken, you cant remove that Permalink link under each posting.”

    That’s the big reason to use WordPress over typepad. One word: customization.

  • Dennis Edell

    Does it do any harm just being there?

  • Paulo Sacramento

    Man, this is so true! I totally agree.

  • elearning

    ok but leaving it dosen’t make any problems

  • tayo

    Pls how can i set up a standard looking blog free .o. c.

  • Bill in Detroit

    I’m with Dennis … make a case for the harm of leaving the permalink intact.

    Seth responded to you with his reasons for leaving the permalink in place. I’m surprised you didn’t reply to him.

  • ayman

    Good point. I never really understood why it was there in the first place.

  • ayman

    good woork

  • medyum

    I couldn’t agree more. My first few months of blogging it took me a while to even realize what the hell the “permalink” was since it seemed obvious that the post title was your “permalink”. Goofy bloggers.

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