Do URL Shorteners Break Links?

In SEO, Social Media & Online PR, The Digital Marketing Blog by Alan4 Comments

Since communicating on social media went 140-character, there has been a proliferation of url shorteners to help squeeze web addresses into tight status updates and tweets. But can shortened urls break the link chain and ruin some hard-earned links?

If the URL shortening service goes bust, and some have, then the link is broken. When their server is down, those links are broken. Look for url shortening services which are reliable. The ideal choice would be Google’s url shortener, but is currently restricted for the use with Google products.

If a short URL is contained in a followed link, it will pass pagerank. But, if the shortening involves a 301 redirect, most search engines will reduce the authority of the link.

So is there any benefit to link building on Twitter when the links are no-followed? Well while you might have to wait days for a static link or a blog post about your content or activity, Twitter links can spring up immediately, and are increasingly visible in Google results pages:

Google results page including real-time Twitter results

Note that the BBC gain a link to their Twitter page, the individual Tweet and the shortened URL in the real-time search results

Search Engine Land have produced a great graph of URL shorteners and their different properties which can work as a good guide for which one is best for you to use.


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