Apr 11 2011

URL Shorteners and SEO, According to Google

With Google looking more at social media these days, in terms of ranking signals, a lot of webmasters continue to wonder how Google treats URL-shorteners in terms of SEO. This isn’t completely new information, but it still seems to be a topic that continues to come up fairly regularly. Google’s Matt Cutts addressed the issue in a video posted to Google’s Webmaster Help YouTube channel. “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.” When we spoke with Gil Reich of Answers.com at SMX Advanced last summer, he s uggested using shorteners that let you get keywords in the URLs .