Does URL shortening affect seo?

May 18, 2023
May 18, 2023 Mark Acornley

Let’s start by understanding what URL shortening is and how it works.

A URL shortener is a tool that takes a long URL and creates a shorter, more manageable link. This is useful for sharing links on social media, where character limits are often in place, or when you want to make a link more visually appealing.

Now, let’s answer the big question: does shortening URLs affect SEO?

The short answer is no, URL shortening does not have a direct impact on SEO. However, there are some things to keep in mind when using URL shorteners that can indirectly affect your SEO.

Factors that can impact your SEO when using URL shorteners:

Link Equity

One important factor to consider when using URL shorteners is link equity.

Link equity refers to the value that a link passes to a website in terms of authority, trust, and ranking power.

When you use a URL shortener, the link equity is passed through the shortened link to the destination URL.

This means that if you use a URL shortener that is not reputable, it could potentially harm your website’s SEO.

To avoid this, it’s important to use a reputable URL shortener that is well-known and trusted.

Examples of reputable URL shorteners include,, and

User Experience

Another factor to consider is user experience. When using URL shorteners, it’s important to make sure that the link is still relevant and provides a good user experience. If the link takes the user to an irrelevant page or is broken, this can negatively impact your SEO.

To avoid this, it’s important to regularly check your shortened links and make sure they are still functioning properly. It’s also a good idea to use descriptive URLs that give users an idea of what they can expect when clicking on the link.


Crawlability refers to the ability of search engines to crawl and index your website. When you use a URL shortener, the shortened link may not be as crawlable as the original URL. This means that search engines may not be able to index your website as effectively.

To avoid this, it’s important to use a URL shortener that utilises 301 redirects. A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect that tells search engines that the original URL has permanently moved to a new location. This allows search engines to index your website more effectively.


Finally, branding is an important factor to consider when using URL shorteners. If you’re using a URL shortener that doesn’t allow you to customise the link, this can negatively impact your branding efforts.

To avoid this, it’s important to use a URL shortener that allows you to customise the link. This will allow you to create a branded link that is recognisable and memorable.

Tracking and Analytics

One benefit of using URL shorteners is the ability to track and analyse click-through rates (CTR) and other metrics. This can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and help you optimise them for better results.

However, it’s important to note that some URL shorteners may not provide accurate tracking data. Make sure to use a reputable URL shortener that provides reliable tracking and analytics.

Social Media

URL shorteners are commonly used on social media platforms like Twitter, where character limits are in place. However, it’s important to use URL shorteners sparingly and strategically on social media.

Using too many shortened links can make your tweets look spammy and may turn off your followers. Additionally, some social media platforms may not like the use of URL shorteners and may penalise your account as a result.

Mobile Optimisation

Mobile optimisation is a crucial aspect of SEO, as more and more users are accessing websites on their mobile devices. When using URL shorteners, it’s important to make sure that the destination URL is mobile-friendly and optimised for mobile devices.

If the destination URL is not optimised for mobile devices, this can negatively impact your user experience and ultimately your SEO.


Consistency is key when it comes to SEO. When using URL shorteners, make sure to use them consistently throughout your website and other marketing channels. This will help to establish a consistent brand identity and make it easier for users to remember and recognise your links.

In addition, make sure to use consistent naming conventions and branding elements when customising your shortened links.

In conclusion, while URL shorteners do not directly affect SEO, there are several factors to consider when using them.

By following best practices such as using a reputable URL shortener, checking your links regularly, utilising 301 redirects, and considering user experience, branding, tracking, social media, mobile optimisation, and consistency, you can use URL shorteners effectively and avoid negatively impacting your SEO.

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