There are several shortener services or shortening urls shortener of urls as, among them most known or important, are: bit.ly, tinyurl.com, short.ie. Some services are offered by big web players like Google as goo.gl with some sites like Twitter micro blogging with twurl or tweetburner.
The aim of this article is not to mention all the URL shortener services but to try to understand whether there are SEO benefits from their use.
Shortener of urls (or url shortening services)
We now live in a world of micro blogging, social networks and communities where every character has limitation.
Shortening url services are there for us to turn a long url, complex, full of incomprehensible parameters in a very short url of ten character maximum length.
For example, when you want to share a url like this:
this one might not go through mail, as some will cut the mail client on the first line not to mention that some people (for example, my grandfather) will not click for fear of receiving a virus or other malware (yes, it still exists, I promise :-)). Finally, some sites like twitter only accept 140 characters per message while the url alone has 180 etc you therefore need to be pleased to transform this long url to http://bit.ly/fnYdO8 ; right? You see the point of having such services.
Shortener urls: What advantage for SEO?
During web search, after noticing examples of successful implementation of this url shortening service, we realized that all interest of the service is either marketing or normal, but no advantage in terms of pure SEO optimizations . We draw some conclusions even when:
1. The primary objective of using the url shortener SEO is not used as well as the links do not pass any credit to the destination page.
2. There is a question of reliability of services that could make a yard on the site community and social networks if those services were shortening at fail. All links will be dead links thus preventing all sharing information throughout the networks.
3. A point of view usability or user experience, the use of these services are very useful since it is always easier to find or share a link shorts (short) a full link. this is especially true since some micro-blogging services like twitter limit the number of characters in your message to 140.
The good practice is therefore to use a 301 permanent redirect but may not transmit any credit to the destination page. So there is no incentive to prefer this type of service (from a SEO perspective) a good hard link, which in turn, will forward all the popularity and will also incidentally to know or recognize the brand as we see clearly the domain name (in the case of miccro blogging or social networks).
To summarize note the following points when using an url shorener service:
1. The type of HTTP redirection (301-302-permanent or temporary)
2. The possibility tracking of urls (for statistical purposes for example),
3. The basic length of the URL (http://xxx.yy/)
4. The length of the variable (ID)
5. The ability to customize
6. The opportunity to share the url
7. The total length of the url.