If you ever Work with URL Shorteners?
August 9, 2020 Business
Recently, these happened if you ask me, I wrote my regular weekly newsletter and posted it on my site. Since this was an extended WordPress URL , like millions of other webmasters, I used a URL shortening service to make this link more usable and manageable.
I posted this shortened URL to Twitter and placed it within my weekly email posting… immediately I began getting emails from my subscribers and followers… the web link doesn’t work, you must have made a mistake.
Which may be easily done, however when I checked the web link, I came across that the shortening service wasn’t working properly and giving the dreaded “Page Not Found” response. To compound the issue, I was using the Google URL shortener Goo.gl and since it had been Google everyone assumed the mistake was on my part. I am talking about Google is Google.
Previously, I have been using bit.ly but had switched to Goo.gl, well – because it’s Google. And everything works better with Google; this was initially something I used in combination with Google hadn’t worked as planned. And it just wasn’t my links, none of the links with Goo.gl were working. No big loss, unless you were linking your Black Friday & Cyber Monday traffic through these shorteners. Ouch.
But this raises the entire question of if you should use a link shortener?
A URL link shortener functions by redirecting your shorter connect to the longer one you’ve entered to their database. If this is a permanent 301 redirect, your SEO benefits should pass to your longer link. No harm done. However bit.ly alternative if the shortening service works on the 302 temporary link then SEO isn’t passed to your longer link since the search engines only read this link as temporary.
All the most truly effective URL shorteners such as tinyurl, bit.ly and goo.gl uses 301 redirects so they’re SEO friendly, if they’re working!
Out of this SEO perspective, there is no reason not to use these shortening services, besides they are good for sharing links and getting your links out there.
I only started using those link shorteners due to Twitter which only gives you 140 characters to make your point. These shorteners will also be great for sharing and spreading your links around the web. However, in one of the ways using a URL shortener is not really a smart marketing move because you are quitting control of your link, putting it in someone else’s hands, in cases like this Google’s.
If it decreases, or they decide not to connect to your content for some reason, you’re in trouble. Same goes for bit.ly, they’re in control of your links. Maybe it doesn’t count so much when it is a general link, but when you a have an affiliate link in there, you can’t change or alter it.
Or just imagine, you’ve 10’s, even 100’s of a large number of these shortened links spread all over the web, bringing valuable SEO PR back once again to your site. Suddenly the service or company goes under and all of your links disappear on the internet overnight.
Web services and sites go bankrupt or change directions constantly, so the above mentioned scenario isn’t out of the question. If you’re using and according to these shortening services to provide both traffic and SEO to your internet site, then you should ask yourself.
Is this really a smart move?
One of the unwritten rules of Internet Marketing, always control your links and route them during your own domain which you control. Particularly if you place these links into viral ebooks, articles, videos… be sure you are linking through a URL on your site. This way you can easily alter the web link if anything changes.
By using these URL shorteners , even one run by Google, you really are quitting control of your links. Granted, Google and Goo.gl will probably be around for the near future and until last week I didn’t hesitate to use their shortening service. Now I am not too sure about using their service and question my usage of some of these shortening services generally, despite all the truly amazing benefits they give your online marketing.
Should you use one of these simple URL shorteners , be sure you completely browse the service and its history before you begin using it. Actually, if you’re going to use these shorteners , it may possibly be a good idea to use three to four of these so that your eggs/links won’t all take the main one basket. Better safe than sorry.