There are many URL shortening services available on the net, any of which could shorten the URLs.

Can too many shortened URL trigger a penalty? Has anyone observed this?

P.S. I am analyzing a backlink profile for a website.

  • It's very important which URL shortening service has been used. Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 22:06
  • Can you give more details? Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 22:27
  • 1
    Some shortening services don't pass SEO value by not using 301 redirects or by blocking the redirect with robots.txt. It would be important to choose a URL shortener that is SEO friendly. Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 0:44
  • @Jverstry Can you clarify, are you talking about linking to your own site using URL shorteners, or are you running a URL shortening site? Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 11:07
  • I am talking about a website where many many pages' URL have been shortened over and over using shortening services. These shortened URLs are not necessarily used on external pages. I am not talking about running a URL shortening site. Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 11:38

1 Answer 1


Here is an example of a ranking problem caused by a URL shortener:

Owl.li Is Ranking Above My Own Page! What To Do? Whooo To Blame?

  • An owl.li URL is ranking in the first page on the SERPs
  • Startupcity.org is not ranking as well as you'd think, as this is definitely an implied brand search.

They note that the problem was fixed when the URL shortener in question was changed to use 301 redirects rather than 302 redirects. It does however have the following advice:

You should ALWAYS internally link to the current version of your URLs. This makes your site faster, it prevents things from breaking in the future, and allows only external links/bookmarks to be passed through redirects.

Sometimes internal links pointing to pages which then 301 can send mixed signals. Sure enough, there's some of that happening on startupcity.org

so using a URL shortener for internal links wouldn't be a good idea. That would be "too much."

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.