There are a number of url shortening services with generic domains such as tinyurl.com and bit.ly. There are also some branded services such as Tinycc. Some tools are also available by big players in technology such as goo.gl shortened and some microblogging sites such as twurl/Tweetburner.
Their operation works as such: each inserted link in their tool is associated with an unique key and this unique key is similar to the alphanumeric code that appears at the end of the compressed URL. The latter then thus redirects the address to the original address which was inserted in the tool.
The benefits of such activities are many when it comes to digital marketing campaigns.
What advantage for SEO?
An URL shortener can have many advantages in the marketing perspective but none when it comes to the advantages through SEO optimization.
- The purpose of short URLs which are not optimized for SEO benefits are less since the advantages of the short links do not necessarily pass any credit to the landing page.
- There is a question which is raised about reliability of services that could be disruptive to community websites and social networks if the shortening were to fail. All dead links are preventing information sharing on networks.
- From the user experience point of view, this shortening of URL can be advantageous as it is easier to find and share shorter links. This is more than relevant to microblogging websites such as Twitter where the messaging lengths can be reduced to 140 characters.
Not all URL Shorteners work the same way for SEO
When choosing an URL Shortener service you need to choose one which will redirect the links from the short URL to the destination URL. This will ensure maximum PageRank passing for your site. Also you should choose a service which will show reports, metrics, and click statistics such as Tinycc.
Tinycc gives the option to users to bring their own short domain. A link can be useful in finding out how many clicks a link is getting, the geographical location of the click and where the click was referred from. The on board data of the short url does not need to replace Google Analytics as the data from Google Analytics can be easily integrated with Tinycc account to allow all the short link pageview to be seen in the Google Analytics account.
- Short links give the most detailed description of the geographical location. It determines the brand presence and accordingly you can optimize the SEO.
- Relevant outbound links help SEO regardless of nofollow or follow status. Short links can also minimize the risk of value transfer.
- If you require an affiliate link but do not want a messy looking URL. A shortening service is a good solution.