There are a number of URL shortening services with generic domains such as bit.ly, tinyurl.com, short.ie. Or branded domain services such as Tinycc. Some tools are offered by big web players like Google with their goo.gl shortener and some microblogging sites like Twitter with twurl/Tweetburner.
Their operation is fairly straightforward: each inserted URL is associated with a unique key, which is usually the same alphanumeric code that appears in the final part of the compressed URL. The latter then performs a redirect to the original address.
The convenience and benefits of a URL shortener can fit nicely in many digital marketing campaigns. The objective of this article is not to list all the benefits of shortening URLs, but to try to understand if there are SEO benefits from their use.
Urls shortener: What advantage for SEO?
A URL shortening service can have advantages from a marketing perspective, but offer no real advantage in terms of pure SEO optimization.
- The purpose of using short URLs not optimized for SEO benefits as the short links do not necessarily pass any credit to the landing page.
- There is a question of reliability of the services that could be disruptive to community websites and social networks if the shortening services were to fail. All dead links are preventing information sharing on networks.
- From the user experience point of view, these services can be very convenient since it is always easier to find/share a short link. This is especially true since some microblogging services like Twitter limit the number of characters in a message to 140.
Not all URL shorteners work the same way for SEO
When choosing a URL shortener, you’ll want to use one that employs a 301 redirect from the short URL to the destination URL. This will ensure maximum PageRank passing for your site. Also, you should choose a service that offers reports, metrics, and click statistics, as in the case of Tinycc.
Tinycc branded service gives users the option of bringing their own short domain. A business can discover how many clicks a specific link gets, geographic location of visitors, where the click was referred from and other metrics. The on board stats do not need to replace Google Analytics as your Google Analytics ID can easily be integrated with your Tinycc account to allow all short link pageview events to be seen in your Google Analytics account.
- Short links provides the most detailed data about the website traffic’s geographical location. It helps to determine your brand presence and accordingly you can optimize the SEO.
- Relevant outbound links help SEO regardless of nofollow or follow status. Shortening the URL can also minimize the risk of value transfer.
- If you require affiliate links but don’t want a messy looking URL. A shortening service is a good solution.
Tinycc custom domain URLs offer an added aspect – a chance to stand out and be memorable. Understand your audience across different devices and media and then plan your SEO.