Which backlink would carry more weight in terms of SEO between the original URL to a webpage (like http://www.example.com/Zqe9) or a URL shortened from Google (like goo.gl/Zqe9)?

  • If you have the choice, why would you use the shortener? Feb 11, 2014 at 11:04
  • @DisgruntledGoat Be it any case..does it effect ? Feb 11, 2014 at 11:42
  • You lose a tiny bit of juice but its so small it doesn't matter. If using a shortener is good for your audience then you should use it. Feb 11, 2014 at 12:02
  • 2
    I don't think there is ever a usability benefit of shortening URL's unless you customise the shortened URL (i.e goo.gl/MyReport).
    – zigojacko
    Feb 11, 2014 at 12:06
  • 1
    See this by Matt Cutts: What percentage of PageRank is lost through a 301 redirect?
    – dan
    Feb 11, 2014 at 18:53

3 Answers 3


I agree with Geoff's answer, that you'd want to go with the original URL every time. The reasons being:

  1. The link will carry less link juice. Yes, in the case of Google, that may be a very very small amount, but other search engines will vary.
  2. The redirected URL will be slower for users and bots to access, which is a negative in terms of user experience. Why send someone to a link that will take them 2 seconds to access, when it's available directly in only 1 second?
  3. The original URL will (likely) be more descriptive of what content is there, including keywords in the file path and domain name.
  4. The URL shortening service may not exist for as long as the destination page does. If Google, in this case, decided to kill the goo.gl shortener next week, you'd have links pointing to nowhere.
  5. The original link is likely much more memorable for humans than the shortened one. ie. example.com/my-page.html is easier to remember than goo.gl/aso4ug7f.
  6. Shortened URLs aren't trust worthy. People use them to link to malware all the time, because they can disguise the actual destination. Some people will actively avoid clicking on shortened links for that reason.

While some of the above reasons may not seem like they pertain to SEO, you have to remember that a search engine tries to surface the URLs that they believe the user will want to see most. Which is why the user experience related points above actually do have an effect on SEO. For example, if your URL is easier to remember, it's easier to tell a friend about that URL via word of mouth, which makes it more likely that friend may link to your URL online.

  • The whole purpose of creating back links is to increase the vote count. It may not echo in the search but would make the rank of the abstract url (abc.com) higher. Is that correct ? Feb 12, 2014 at 11:39
  • Somewhat, but only very very slightly. As Geoff's link shows, the amount of link juice passed between a redirected URL and a direct URL is almost the same. The biggest benefit in strict SEO terms is that if your optimizing for the word "widget", a link to widget-store.com is more descriptive to a search engine than a link to goo.gl/asd897d. But search engines also prefer faster pages, and the redirect will take time. Feb 12, 2014 at 15:11

The original URL every time because any shortened URL's have to pass through a redirect (which incidentally in Google, doesn't actually lose much weight at all).

  • what is the problem if it has to pass trough a redirect ? Feb 11, 2014 at 11:46
  • 1
    As @bybe already said above, a small amount of weight is lost - with Google though, this is minuscule. This is why I included the link as it explains link weight through redirects.
    – zigojacko
    Feb 11, 2014 at 12:05
  • can you explain me with logic..why redirect is bad for the seo ? Feb 11, 2014 at 12:59
  • I didn't say a redirect is bad for SEO... If you have a different question than the one you've asked here (which I've already correctly answered) then ask a new question on Webmasters SE.
    – zigojacko
    Feb 11, 2014 at 13:37

Google understands that there are reasons to use a 301 redirect and any cost can be negated. However, Google also says that a 301 redirect should be avoided unless necessary. I understand the need to short URL(s) for things like Twitter. This makes sense. However, URI paths and file names are important factors for ranking for keywords. Google echos this. If you need to use a shortend URL for redirect then use it. But for the actual web page, I would not use a shortend name at all. I would redirect to a URL/URI that represents your 2 or 3 most important keywords. Google sees the page URL/URI being redirected to and this is what Google indexes and not the shortend URL.

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