Is Google’s URL shortener a Trojan Horse to Track the Real Time Web

Posted by in Social Media & Online PR on December 18th, 2009 0 Comments

There’s been plenty of talk about how Twitter and how the proliferation of URL shorteners has broken the link graph. Everyday millions of links pass through URL shorteners, and although some do pass link equity, if one goes under (which plenty have), that leaves thousand of broken links. Not good news if you happen to be a search engine that relies on the link graph.

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That seemed like the perfect reason for Google to launch their brand new Goo.gl url shortener service but I think there are alterior motives for them to launch the service.

If you’re Google and doing your best job at keeping up with the real time web, you’ve got a couple of options. The easiest is to buy Twitter, but it doesn’t look like that’s happening anytime soon.

So how about another option: get a chunk of the url shortening market, and you suddenly have a huge amount of link data including click throughs and the like. It seems like that would be a great ranking factor.

I know people are reticent to hand over their data to Google, but I know I feel more comfortable placing my short links in Google’s hands rather than one of the other shorteners, especially if they intergrate the reporting into Google Analytics.

And though we’re drowning in Google product launches at the mo, suddenly this one makes a lot more sense.

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