Do URL shorteners affect ranking on Google

Do URL shorteners affect ranking on Google
12 April 2011 | | Search Engine Optimisation

One of the reasons that more and  more of our dentists and dental practices are using Social Media such as Facebook and Twitter is to boost their rankings on Google. Amy, like many other bloggers use shortened URLs (like bit.ly) on her twitter feeds to enable them to fit in a message, however, it is a concern as to whether this impacts on the value Google places on the link.

It is an established fact that Google is pulling information from Social Media sites and twitter feeds,  therefore quality content, regular updates etc using these media will only have a positive effect on your rankings. And this is why a large number our dental clients are working with us to set up attractive and relevant Facebook pages.

However, as more and more dentists start using shortened URL’s to enable them to fit the link into Twitter, to say nothing of making them easier to remember, and therefore easier for a potential surfer to type into their browser, there is a worry that Google will not actually read the link. Therefore the concern is that all the effort to create and update these pages will be totally wasted, however, Matt Cutts in a recent video post on Google says:

“Custom URL shorteners are essentially just like any other redirects,” he explains. “If we try to crawl a page, and we see a 301 or permanent redirect, which pretty much all well-behaved URL shorteners (like bit.ly or goo.gl) will do, if we see that 301 then that will pass PageRank to the final destination.”

“So in general, there really shouldn’t be any harm to using custom URL shorteners in your SEO,” he continues. “The PageRank will flow through. The anchor text will flow through, and so I wouldn’t necessarily worry about that at all.”

“Now, just to let you know, if you look at, for example, Twitter’s web pages, many of those links have a nofollow link,” he adds. “So those links that are on the webpage, may not necessarily flow PageRank, but we might be able to find out about those links through some other way – maybe a data feed or something like that. But just URL shorteners, as far as how they relate to SEO, are not necessarily a problem at all.”

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