Tinyurl, Bit.ly, tr.im, ju.mp… anyone who’s used Twitter recognizes these names as common short url services that people use to turn long links into short, convenient links. These are also used in other social media networks like Facebook. The question is, can short url affect your SEO? The answer is, yes, they most certainly can.
Consider the above tweet we made using the bit.ly URL shrinker to link to one of our blog posts. Does this link provide any SEO value? Would it have been different if we used another shortening service? In order to answer these mystifying questions, Search Engine Land has created a useful chart detailing the basic differences between URL shorteners. Here is the most important factor when it comes to short url and SEO: 301 and 302 redirects.
301 versus 302 Redirects:
301 redirects are highly preferable in a URL shinker, because they tell search engines to give link credit to your long URL, rather than the short url one! This is also permanent and really helps give credit to your links. Luckily, the most commonly used URL shrinkers like bit.ly and tinyurl use 301 redirects.
302 redirects, on the other hand, give only temporary link credit to your long links. This tells search engines that the more powerful and important link is the shortened one, not yours! Here are some URL shorteners that use this dreaded 302 redirect: Hex.io, twurl.in, and eweri.
So next time you go to short url that amazing link, be sure to pick a URL shortener that uses a 301 redirect. This will help you create inbound links to your site or blog, which will in turn increase your rankings in search engines!