What is a URL?

A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) identifies a resource that can be accessed via a network protocol (HTTP or FTP).

A URL is a subtype of the URI (Uniform Resource Identifier). Both are often used synonymously and colloquially referred to as “Internet address” or “Web address”. This means the specific address of a website (e.g. https://www.example.com).

URL structure

Theoretically, every website can be accessed by entering the website’s individual IP. However, today’s URL notation is more user-friendly. This was also intended by the “inventor” of the URL, Tim Berners-Lee, to make the “World Wide Web” more attractive for the population.

The structure of a URL is always the same and as follows:

»Protocol (http: //, ftp: //)
» Server name (
e.g. www.google.de) »File path and file name (e.g. / Google Ads.html)

Domains and URL

According to besteducationschools.com, a domain is an expression of a URL and is often used interchangeably in everyday language. A domain denotes the following:


Strictly speaking, the “www” is a sub-domain.

A URL, on the other hand, is the full path:


The expression is not a domain, but also a URL:


A URL can also be converted into an IP, e.g. here: https://www.dnswatch.info/de

However, this does not control the website interface, i.e. the website as you get it by entering the URL, but the web server.

URLs and search engine optimization

Speaking url

A URL should be “speaking” if possible. This means that there is a meaning behind it that people can recognize. See: Speaking URL.

Readability of URLs

According to John Mueller, Google can also read unlinked URLs and thus recognize them as website addresses.

How exactly such an unlinked URL is evaluated in comparison with a linked URL in the eyes of Google is not known.

Absolute and relative urls

For different applications it is possible to specify a relative instead of an absolute URL. For example, to generate simplified processes in internal network protocols.

An absolute URL is the full URL:


Relative URLs come in two versions: relative to the web server and relative to the document.
A URL that is relative to the web server begins with a “slash”: /. If a URL is without /, it is relative to the document.

/ services / seo → relative to the web server

seo.jpg → relative to the document

This distinction is not really important for search engine optimization. It is important to know, however, that the canonical tag must never be used with a relative, but always with an absolute URL!

Allowed URL parameters

A URL cannot contain every possible character. All Latin letters in upper and lower case, all Arabic numbers and – _ are permitted. ~

Umlauts (ö, ä, ü) are not allowed

The following characters may have to be written in the so-called “percent coding”:

! * ‘();: @ & = + $, /? % # []

A converter can be found here: http://meyerweb.com/eric/tools/dencoder/

Shorten URLs

There are several free services that can be used to shorten URLs. This is useful for certain applications, e.g. social networks such as Twitter, or for reasons of clarity. So at bitly the link
“ https://www.example.com/blog/screaming-frog-4-0-jetzt-mit-analytics-und-mehr-teil-2/ ”


“ Http://bit.ly/1JAdNWa”.

Abbreviated URLs raise various privacy concerns:

– Most services for URL shortening save data such as click rates or the origin of the links without the consent of the user. An exception is www.t1p.de.
– With shortened URLs it is not possible to see where the link actually leads. Therefore, shortened links should be treated with caution, as they can theoretically lead to websites with malware.

Acquire a URL

Whoever wants to purchase a URL usually means a domain. The URL is then the specific address with “http” or “https”. Different providers sell or rent domains, with a search for “ buy domain” you will quickly find what you are looking for. With many providers you can check whether the desired domain is still available.

Of course, domains that have already been bought or reserved by others cannot be bought or rented.

URL & URL hijacking

URL is an abbreviation for Uniform Resource Locator and is basically the address of a website on the Internet. A URL cannot be assigned a second time and is therefore unique.

How is a URL structured?

The structure of the URL is always uniform and is generally composed as follows:

»Protocol (http: //, ftp: //)
» Server name (
e.g. www.google.de) »File path and file name (e.g. / Google Ads.html)

What is url hijacking?

URL hijacking can literally be understood as “URL hijacking”. If another website knowingly and maliciously redirects your content and thereby shows your content as its own, this is called URL hijacking. To solve the problem you have to contact either the webmaster who set the redirect or the search engine. Because your URL disappears (is hijacked) from the database of the search engines and thus also from the search results.

In principle, a redirect can also be requested by the website operator. There are permanent redirects (permanent redirects) and temporary redirects (temporary redirects). Permanent forwardings are useful when files have been given new names. Temporary redirects are used when pages are rebuilt.

What is a URL