The worldwide web has revolutionized our lives like never before. It is home to enormous resources, and just with the single click of a mouse, you can have all the information you require at your disposal. However, whatever information we receive on the internet is only one side of the story. Many things happen behind the scenes, and we need to understand these essential elements to use the internet more efficiently than before.
What are Links and URLs?
Both Link and URL can be easily counted among the most widely used terms on the internet. We use these terms on an everyday basis, and some might be using them interchangeably, presuming that both terms are the same. However, in reality, a link and URL are different from each other, and in this piece of writing, we will decode both these terms to help you comprehensively understand the difference between them.
What is URL?
As the name indicates, a URL specifies a unique and distinctive address of a particular resource on the internet. Each webpage on the internet comes with a unique URL that serves as an address of the resource. Consider URL as an address of your home, which is unique and exclusive to your abode. If somebody wants to come and meet you, they need to reach your address. Similarly, if you want to access a pacific resource on the internet, you need to type the URL to land on that specific webpage.
For example, if you want to visit the website of Hindustan Unilever (HUL), a leading fast-moving consumer goods company in India, you have to enter the URL of the company, which is https://www.hul.co.in/. This URL is exclusive and takes you to the webpage of HUL, where you can access the required information. This particular URL is home to data and information related to a range of parameters of HUL, including its history, brands, latest news, careers, and investor relations. The URL mentioned above for HUL is unique and exclusive to the company and cannot be used by any other entity.
What is Link?
A Link (also referred to as a hyperlink) is an element that facilitates users’ movement from one resource on the internet to another resource. Consider the link as a pathway that facilitates the movement within the world wide web and allows users to sift through the various web pages and information resources. When the user clicks on a particular link, the action will prompt the web browser to display the address embedded in that specific link.
As an element of HTML, a link offers several advantages to both designers of websites and users. It allows designers to use different design templates and then Link these pages to provide an exciting surfing experience to users. For surfers, links not only create the convenience of navigation but also offer handy options such as “go back” or “go to next page.” All these and many other options have become possible because links exist and facilitate the movement between different pages both internally and externally.
Depending upon the purpose they serve, links can be of two types:
1) Internal link:
These are the links on the web page that connects you to another page but, importantly, in the same domain. These are very helpful to engage the visitors and entice them to explore your website in more detail. In other words, internal links will increase visitors’ time on your web page and help you attain a higher ranking on the popularity charts.
For example, HUL has inserted several internal links on its website under the section of Planets and Society. As these links will connect users to different company initiatives in the same domain, these can be classified as internal links.
2) External links:
Also called outbound links, these links connect the visitors to the other domains by providing them with extra information and explanation for the phenomenon they are interested in. This is specifically helpful in the case of technical websites as different domain owners have other specialties which can be utilized for providing a holistic solution to users. External links bring credibility and authority to the landing page as opposed to internal links.
For example, if the website of a mobile manufacturer adds an “external link” of an influencer reviewing the popular product of the company, then such insertion would be considered an example of external linking. Clicking on that link will take the user to the influencer’s page, which is outside the company’s domain.
Around the web, the use of links is very much in vogue. No doubt, Links play a vital role in increasing the flow of traffic to sites in addition to helping the digital marketing of the company to achieve desirable results. In terms of their appearance, unvisited link is blue and underlined, while already visited links change the color to Purple while retaining their characteristic of being underlined. On the other hand, an active link is underlined and red in appearance.
Difference between Links and URLs
|1||Definition||Unique addresses||Connecting paths to URLs|
|2||Protocol||Follow definitive protocols||Don’t have definitive Protocols|
|3||Nature||Address for specific Web content||Content within a particular webpage|
|4||Syntax||Definitive syntax||No definitive Syntax|
|5||Merits||It makes links more manageable||It makes content more explorable|
|6||Character Behaviour||Only some fixed characters can be used in URLs||Any character can be used in links|
|7||Browser Functionality||URLs in browsers always return the desired result||Links might not always return the result|
|8||Dynamic Nature||Easy to move from one domain to another||Dynamic data structure with quick insertion capability|
|9||Tracking||URLs help in compiling Click Data||Links help in enhancing traffic from other sites|
In our everyday routine, links and URLs are often used interchangeably – and that’s fine for our day-to-day conversations. However, if you are a professional working in the digital domain, it’s imperative to understand the differences between these two crucial elements of HTML. While URLs act as a unique address for the information source on the web, links take users to the intended address through their connecting pathway ability. Remember, URLs and Links are not the same and serve different purposes, although both strive to enrich the surfing experience of users.