To some SEO questions there are no definitive answers unfortunately. Using absolute or relative URLs to interlink related site subpages is just such a question.
Many SEOs will tell you there is no difference and the main thing is to be consistent with your choice. Others (they seem to be in majority) support absolute URLs, while web developers and designers consider it stupid and irrational.
I did my best to make up the list of all possible pros and cons and leave that for you to decide:
Absolute URLs for internal interlinking:
Example: < a href=”https://www.searchenginejournal.com/about-us/4070″>About SEJ < /a>
- are better when handling canonicalization issues;
- are safer when talking about site hijacking;
- are safer when switching to a new CMS;
- will save you in cases when your content is stolen and the thief does not take time changing the internal references;
- are a better choice if your content is distributed via email (you do want your readers to click the internal links and actually get to the page, don’t you?);
- might be easier for search engines to follow as they resolve all relative URLs to absolute ones before following them.
Relative URLs for internal interlinking:
(First, a short definition of a relative URL)
URL whose location is specified relative to the address of the base document in which the URL resides. It provides a shorthand way to refer to files or resources that use the same protocol, domain name, or directory path as the current document. (source)
Example: < a href=”/about-us/4070″>About SEJ < /a>
- make it easy to move from one domain to another one;
- make the code shorter which might decrease a page’s download time.
Also please add your pros/cons in the comments.