If you’ve been wondering whether or not to use short URLs, there are some advantages and some disadvantages. From a link building point of view, short URLs send link juice, but not to the destination URL. Rather, they send link juice back to the redirection service, the URL shortener.
Here’s what happens when someone clicks on a short URL:
- They first go to the short URLs website (this is very brief as you’ll see in a moment)
- Then they are redirected to the destination page, the page represented by the URL the shortened URL represents
Because traffic is first diverted to the short URL service, and link value along with it, you are adding link juice to the link vault of the URL shortening service rather than the website of the page you want your visitors to go to. That may or may not be important. If it is a page on your own website then you’d be better off using the long URL. If it is on a property that you own or that you want to build links to then you should use the long URL. If the site is an affiliate site and you are just trying to earn money from your visitors then the short URL service may be more beneficial than not.
This is one of those things where you have to weight the good with the bad. Just know that short URLs services don’t pass link juice to the final destination page and if you want that, don’t use the short URL service.