Why are Discourse forum URLs so long? Possible to shortern?

For example I recently created a new topic on my forum, and it takes the entirety of the topic title rolling it into the URL

Does this have any SEO benefits? If there are no benefits to such a lengthy URL is it possible to have the forum just create a URL like this?

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5239032
For reference, this is basically the same thread and similar title, but two different forum types and thus URL generating.

Also to be clear, I’m well aware of general URL link shortening, but I mean as a general feature/practice of the forum.

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To be fair that’s not a title, it’s a sentence. I would look to reduce it’s length, even the onebox in your post above trims it.

Yes, urls have some SEO benefit, and no, titles don’t need to be that long.

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The title isn’t required to browse when you create a link, either.

You can share: https://forum.example.com/t/-/1999 where 1999 is the topic id and it’ll take you there.

This default isn’t changeable in Discourse, however.

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I’m using it as an extreme example, but I’m asking if there are different ways to configure how Discourse generates these URLs

No, there isn’t. As Justin mentioned above you can shorten that part of the URL whilst sharing, it as long as the number afterwards isn’t affected. URLs can’t be edited, nor can the means in which they are generated.

Looking by that title, First Impressions could be a tag, or a category.

There just needs to be something between the /t/ and the /999.

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Thanks for this information, any other tips or tricks relevant to this?

Blockquote https://voskcointalk.com/t/172

Just testing, and thanks for that, that’s very helpful when sharing the link, especially on things like twitter etc

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Yes, there is. You can disable slugs using the ‘slug generation method’ in the site settings.

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I agree!

Perhaps we should omit the slug automatically in the share link pop-up thing, or have an option for it at least. As a comparison YouTube share links are very short as well and don’t include any slug info. This way only the share links are short, but the default urls in the browser address bar still have the title info and is probably good for seo.

I swear this used to be the case, but not longer seems necessary:

https://meta.discourse.org/t/147418

Edit: apparently for the same site it is necessary! If you click on it now it will just show a blank page! But for external links it works just fine. So probably best to just include a - in between

https://meta.discourse.org/t/-/147418

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You seem to be unhappy that long titles are . . . long. You could stop people from making titles that are so long. See site setting max topic title length.

An option, maybe, but the slug is really useful for someone who sees the URL and is deciding whether to click it. That’s why it’s there!

This seems like a self-inflicted problem to me.

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Careful, this is risky, isn’t it? As I recall, we do some kind of hacky “best guess” to see if the slug is a number but the correct short form is always

https://forum.example.com/t/-/1999

and not

https://forum.example.com/t/1999

This is mostly a defense against bad linking when URLs get arbitrarily truncated, I don’t think it should be actively promoted as a feature to people? :thinking:

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