Our short URL experiment

June 26, 2009 — 4 Comments

Ben Grubb called us out tonight on Twitter for using Short URL’s for links within posts. I’m surprised it took so long to some degree, but likewise I should explain.

We’ve been trialling on and off short url’s on links in posts for the better part of the last 6 weeks. The primary purpose was to track outgoing clicks, and in that regard the trial has gone very well.

But likewise the intent has never been to steal link juice to those we are linking to, and I’d be the last person to do that. I only need to note at this point the evidence: our own internal links in posts get the same treatment. We input the actual URL in the post, and it gets a short URL on publication, we don’t manually do it.

My experience so far is that Google has zero problem in following the short URL to the end page. I obviously don’t know for external sites, but I know following internal linking that those links react as they always have, that is, as if there was no short URL on the page.

We’ll continue on, with a note that we mean no harm to external sites and that we hope, and believe, that when we link out that although you may not see the raw link, the link is there, and counted, in Google and others.

Oddly we also have the option of framing links. I won’t say that we never will, but I’ll need a far stearner set of balls to do so 🙂