Shorten your links for SEO

August 3, 2010

Shortening your links on your site and social networking profiles can do a lot more for your SEO efforts than you may expect. Not only do URL shortening sites like Bit.ly make your URLs more manageable, the resulting links help search engines index your pages.

At times, the links on your website may be extremely long and not contain information that visitors can understand. For example, a URL like the following can be difficult to decipher for the average user, so they are unsure where the link will take them and may not click through:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=national+positions&aq=f&aqi=g-p3g7&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

By looking closely at the URL, you can see that it is on Google and is a search result for National Positions. To the average Internet surfer, this jumbled URL is a headache and gives no information on whether they can trust clicking or not.

This is where URL shortening services can help a great deal. Although shorter links from Bit.ly do not spell out where a link will go, the links are easier on the eyes. Also, if you use the URL as anchor text on your website, shorter links are more user-friendly, and user-friendly equals search engine friendly.

Shorter links are now a staple of Twitter, as longer links take up the valuable character space of your tweet. Long links can get broken when you email them to people, so shortening them can help your email marketing strategy.

In the end, shortening your URLs on your website and across social media platforms will help your users feel more comfortable with your website and will boost your SEO efforts.

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