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What are URL Shorteners?A URL shortener is a service that will allow you to take a long and potentially complex URL (Uniform Resource Locator), also known as the web address, and shorten it to something shorter and more aesthetic. Consider the following URLs:
Long original URL:
Customized short link:
Randomly generated short link:
The first URL is the address of an article, whereas the shorter links are links processed by x1url.com to shorten them. Clicking either link will get you to the same page, though the x1url.com one is more aesthetically appealing. Furthermore, by using a URL shortener like x1url.com, you are also able to gather additional stats about your links like number of clicks, locations, and referrers and many more. The downside is that instead of linking directly to your page, the user goes through the third-party service.
Short links help pass along link juiceGuest posting is a popular way to receive link juice from higher-authority websites.
Have you ever wondered why backlinks are so highly regarded by search engines? It all comes down to "link juice" and the power it possesses. Link juice is a term that refers to the passing of value from one website to another. When you link out to a site, you are passing along some of your sites value, and the same occurs (in reverse) when another site links to you.
However, link juice can only be made possible with backlinks. These are essentially links to your website from another place on the internet. Websites with authentic backlinks rank highly on search engines. This is because the more backlinks your site has, the more likely it is that your content is valuable and of high quality. This will greatly increase your website chances of being on top in the SERPs.
Where pretty links come in is how they pass along link juice. Every link pretty or not passes along link juice, as long as it does not contain a "nofollow" attribute. This attribute is typically added to links on social media networks, and can mean the difference between building backlinks and not.
However, URL shorteners (including Short Links) typically use permanent redirects, which bypasses any "nofollow" attributes added to links. This is useful for building backlinks that are copied from your social media profile, or any other site that automatically adds a "nofollow" attribute to links.
Use a descriptive URL slugWhen creating a short link, think about what it is from the content that you are sharing that will really wow people. Then put that term into the URL slug. You can use terms like "get-more-money" or "best-car" or "happy-customers.
Find the sweet spot between making sure it is related simultaneously to the customer/user and the URL you are sharing. Remember, people can remember phrases and spell common words, but they can not remember or spell random gibberish.
Will a URL Shortener help your SEO?The SEO sphere is constantly changing and you have to adapt your strategy once in a while if you do not want your rankings to be badly impacted. As content represents a big part of your SEO strategy, it is crucial to not miss any opportunities to share it properly. That is where the use of URL shorteners can come in handy. URL shorteners are basically online applications that will transform your regular URL into a shorter version.
Should You Be Using URL Shorteners?
YES. If you are using a URL shortener in 2020 and beyond, from a reputable provider, you should not expect any negative SEO benefits. Using an SEO shortener allows you to create concise and aesthetically pleasing links, while also being able to glean additional information about your performance. Some sites prevent the use of URL shorteners, but where available, you should use them in your content marketing campaigns. Just remember not to use them where the URL is not visible, like with anchor text.