Guide to URL shorteners
1.What is URL shortening?
URL shortening is a technique on the World Wide Web in which a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) may be made substantially shorter and still direct to the required page. This is achieved by using a redirect which links to the web page that has a long URL. For example, the URL "http://example.com/assets/category_B/subcategory_C/Traffic/" can be shortened to "https://example.com/Traffic", and the URL "http://example.com/about/index.html" can be shortened to "https://goo.gl/d13X4w". Often the redirect domain name is shorter than the original one. A friendly URL may be desired for messaging technologies that limit the number of characters in a message (for example SMS), for reducing the amount of typing required if the reader is copying a URL from a print source, for making it easier for a person to remember, or for the intention of a permalink. Other uses of URL shortening are to "beautify" a link, track clicks, or disguise the underlying address.
2.Why use a URL shortener?
URL shorteners are helpful when sharing your content.
As we all know, some social media, have a character limit so you have to be concise and relevant when posting. Using a URL shortener can thus help you to put more accurate information about the content that you are posting instead of having a post with a really long URL. It is also possible to brand a URL so that you know if the content has been shared by a company or a brand in particular.
3.Shortened URLs have more aesthetic appeal
URL shorteners are definitely useful when it comes to making your URL look prettier, especially, as we mentioned above, when sharing your content on social media. Moreover, if your readers are using a mobile to view your content, they are going to enjoy a better user experience if they see a shorter URL in it.
URL shorteners can come with traffic monitors. For anyone curious about the behaviour of their content and how it was received by users, some URL shorteners, allow you to track the sharing activities of your post/tweet over a specific period.
Indeed, the more your content is shared, the better.
4.Do URL shorteners pass link juice?
Social network websites have the habit of putting a ‘NoFollow’ tag in the links that they provide, in order to prevent any abuse. However, even if search engines are respecting this tag, it is not the case for URL shorteners as they short circuit this process. Indeed, these type of links will be then followed back by search engines which entails that some value will eventually pass through them. It is a good thing for people who often use social media as part of their marketing campaigns or who just use them to share content.
According to several ranking specialists, it seems that using URL shorteners doesn’t lead to any negative impact on your SEO.
As a matter of fact, shortened URLs are considered by search engines as any regular 301 redirects and they will thus act upon it. As Matt Cutt from Google explained in the video below:
If we try to crawl a page and we see a 301 or permanent redirect, which pretty much all well behaved URL shorteners (x1url.com) will do, it will pass Page Rank to the final destination.
5.URL Shortener Benefits
URL shorteners wouldn’t be as popular as they are if there wasn’t a reason.
URL shorteners let you limit the number of characters needed to get your message and link across. Before Twitter decided that links did not count against the maximum character limit, URL shorteners were a godsend, allowing marketers to get in extra phrases or hashtags into their posts. With less space taken up by the URL, you have more chance to make a case for clicking your link.
URL shorteners also allow you to brand your links. Larger companies will have custom short URLs for their own links. You may have noticed twitter’s t.co domain for example. Whether through a named service or a custom URL, branding links helps you accurately and concisely convey what the reader can expect to find when clicking the link.
There are both free and paid options with URL shortener services, and these include various levels of analytics and data. By putting all your links through a service, you will be able to see how many people clicked, which posts are the most popular (and at what times), locations, referrers and more. While much of this data is duplicated in Google Analytics, the UI in a URL shortener is designed specifically for shared links, so you may be able to glean more.
URL shorteners will typically ignore any nofollow attributes in links, allowing search engines to follow these links and potentially boost SEO performance. It may seem like an obvious point, but shortened URLs tend to look better than full length ones. With potential readers being bombarded constantly by links to click, you want to maximize your click-through rate by every means possible.
6.Will They Impact My SEO?
URL shorteners are very useful for preventing issues with link sharing and lost traffic, but all that benefit is worthless if the shortened links are detrimental to SEO. Many site owners are reluctant to take advantage of URL shorteners because they fear that their content will not be passed along with the shortened link. The more your content is shared, the better, and it would be a major lost opportunity if content shared via shortened URL wasn’t recognized by search engine algorithms.
If anyone knows SEO, it’s Google, and they’ve provided a useful answer to the question of whether or not shorteners will negatively impact your site rankings.So the definitive answer is: no, URL shorteners will not bring down your site’s SEO rankings. Your content, or anchor text, is passed on with the miniature URL to give you the best of both worlds.