If you use a full, SEO Friendly URL like http://example.com/talks/about/star-wars then you can expect your URL to get eaten up by the users that submit it to bit.ly and others.

So my question is, would it be better to create your own internal shortener for links and just ignore any SEO benefit of the URL keywords in exchange for the SEO link juice from a straight URL? For example, something like this which is actually close to the matching shortened version?

http://example.com/dE
http://bit.ly/clPeI1

Is stopping link rot worth more than URL keywords?

1 answer

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Short answer: it shouldn't matter:

Philosophical answer:

I wouldn't do anything to compromise your internal link structure, naming, and conventions for the convenience of people who want shorter links to share—those people are already capable of doing that for themselves (or have automated tools that do it for them when they share).

From an engineering perspective, it seems unwise to couple your linking, reference, or URL strategies to any particular shortening service (or any of them, for that matter).

Answered almost 9 years ago by Kyle Murphy
  • I think your right. If everyone left twitter tomorrow - or twitter started allowing one URL + 140chars this wouldn't even be a problem. Better not to base your apps on things that change over time. Plus, shortened URL's just don't explain what the page is about. Xeoncross almost 9 years ago
  • I would add that short URLs will do permanent 301 redirection to your long and clean URL. So the long URL is the one that is considered. Gabriel almost 9 years ago
  • I agree with @Gabriel. So, it DOES matter! w3d almost 9 years ago
  • I agree. Moreover, you can define a short url definition that many short URL services will discover: http://sites.google.com/a/snaplog.com/wiki/short_url -- in case you want to provide both, but still allow people to use their own tools. Nathan DeGruchy almost 9 years ago