Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How to remove the numbers in blogger post URL's

This article looks at the numbers that are in web-page addresses created by Blogger, what they mean and how you can influence them.

When you first publish a post, Blogger assigns a permanent web-address (aka an URL or a permalink) to the post.  I've previously explained how you can control the words used in this hyperlink.

A common question from people who are researching SEO for their blog is "how do I get rid of the numbers in the post-URL?".

Unfortunately the answer is not as straightforward as most people would like.

Numbers near the start of Blogger URLS

As described in setting the content of your post's permalink, the URL given to posts published in Blogger shows the year and month of the original publication date for the post. I think this is because Blogger was originally set up as an on-line diary, with a lot of the features organised around the post-date.

numbers in the website address of a blog post, as show in Internet Explorer

Today, there are ways of giving your blog a home page, showing your posts in pages, and changing the order of the posts, which let your blog be a lot more than a date-ordered web-log.

Some blogging software (eg Wordpress) lets you choose the structure of the URLs which are used, eg leaving the date out totally, or puting it after the words.

However Blogger does not currently have any way to remove the date-part of the post URLs. And I could be wrong, but my best guess is that this will not change anytime soon.

So what options are available to remove the year and month numbers?

If you just don't want people to know the correct month and year of the post, then you can change the date before you publish the post for the the first time. Maybe make it something non-sensical (eg 1/1/1990). (However do remember that your RSS feed will show the actual date of publication, not the assigned date).

If you have some content where any month-and-year are particularly irrelevant, put it into a Page instead of a Post - because Page URLs don't contain a date.  But remember that you need to give users a way to get to these Pages, and that remember that they are not sent out in your RSS feed, so subscribers won't see the content.

The third - and least attractive - option: is to accept that this is how Blogger works and that you need to live with it or switch to another blogging tool.

Numbers near the end of Blogger URLS

Blogger puts digits at the end of post-URLs in order to make sure that each post ever published has a unique address.

Notice that I said "ever published": if you publish a post, then delete it, and then publish a second post with the same year, month and either title or customized-URL-words, then the second post's URL will have some digits put on the end, to stop it being the same as the first one.

Once a post is published, you cannot remove the digits and keep the same words and month/year.  The only way to avoid them is to make sure that your post-URLs are unique. So if you publish a post and notice that it has digits on the end of the URL, one option is to delete that post, and replace it with one which has a different publication date or customized-URL-words(don't forget to copy the post contents before you delete it!)   Or you could just set it back to draft status, and then publish it again with different and this time unique customized-URL-words.

For example, if you publish and find that you get
you may want to delete the post, and republish the content in a post with a different date like

Does it really matter?

Crystal 128 karmI'm not convinced that having numbers in Blogger URL's is a problem.

If the content is so weak, and poorly linked to by other sites and social media that the presence of numbers in the URL is affecting visitor numbers, then there are more important things for you to be worrying about.

On the other hand, if your blog is already popular and well-optimized, and you're looking to get the last possible bit of SEO benefit - you'd be better off using your time to write even more good quality, unique, content so that your existing subscribers visit more often, instead of fussing over something that you cannot control.

Related Articles

Setting the custom-URL for a blog post

Giving your blog a home page

Putting Blogger posts into pages

How to set the date for a post

The difference between Posts and Pages

What is RSS and why it matters for bloggers

Removing a post from your blog

Copy the contents between blog posts - and keep all the formatting.

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  1. nice tips
    i've been looking this kind of tips for such a long time.
    thanks for share

  2. I'm visiting from WebApps StackExchange (I'm Feral Oink there, and Ellie elsewhere ;o) You had included this post as part of a Blogger related answer on SE.

    For a long time, I have wondered why Reuters, BBC News online, and lots of others, use the story name, followed by a many digit number, maybe 9 or more. Xinhua (China News Service) does this too. CNET URLs are even more obscure, as they use a long alphanumeric string without any words at all. It is annoying for me as a reader, as I must visit the page in order to confirm whether the information is recent or old. NOW I understand why they do it! I never realized that websites would WANT to have anything other than the day, month and year, or month and year, in each URL. I had thought that it was due to some vagary of their content management system or server e.g. all their URLs end with aspx. (I don't know about that either, assume it means Microsoft IIS, am probably wrong! :)

  3. I think keeping number in URL can make content expire or old because it indicate to search engine it's old article or information.

  4. The worst thing blogger ever did was to include dates in the url. As things stand, they are not changing their mind soon even though they have conditioned the search robots to scout for fresh content. The dates basically renders your content stale after 24 hours

  5. I have some of my posts which were saved in Draft yet and was not published. Now, I am making same posts and want to publish them. But, URL is automatically inserting _number at the end of the permalink, even I am creating custom url. Can you please help me in this regard. I have tried my best to remove that number, but it seemed that my deleted post's url is still somewhere in the Blogger database, which is not allowing me to use the same url for my new posts.