You may realize a slight boost from keywords in the URL, but most engines presently give this little weight by itself and there are no significant speed implications. Using absolute addressing does make your site more difficult for someone to copy and duplicate elsewhere.
Absolute addressing numerous images or links, can add to the (k) size of your html. Having images, html in multiple directories also adds to the (k) size.
I have remade many sites that once the over organization of the site had been removed (multiple directories and comment tags)and the (k) size was reduced, I was able to add at least three 10k images per page, and still able to decrease load time.
There is a balance between getting users to a site and having them stay long enough to view it.
The other side of the coin is...
Say you find your domain name in Google. You click on "cached". When it brings up the cached page you get a bonus by using absolute calls. What happens when they click on say your privacy statment link. By using absolute links it now takes the user to your site. Is this worth the extra KBs? That is what you have to decide.
Thanks again everyone.
Good point, GWJ.
A detailed look at relative vs. absolute addressing:
This place is the business, I read that absolute addressing between directories can give a popularity boost. Would that count for:
Page in the Root Dir (ie. Home)
Page-s in a Dir in the Root Dir (ie. market/glass-1 etc)
stuart, I am no expert, but have, on a couple of sites, absolute links between root and /directory/ pages, using keywords in the link text, since I gave the directory the keyword as the name, and have double Google listings, for both the root and the directory, with the subsidiary pages showing as links for the site.
Well, the Google cache problem was fixed. In their own text banner ad at the top of the cache page, they include a "base href" statement to reference all urls to the site in question. Links will always work on the page then. There are some (top secret) tricks in using your own base href command to "play with googles mind".
I am a believer, but not always a practioner of absolute urls. Where page size is utmost important, I use relative (such as the home page here), but where SEO value and compatibility value is more important, I use absolutes.
Dave, Minnapple, GWJ, Marcia and Brett - I owe you all a beer. Thanks again.