Skip to Content

The author

Anthony Kenny

SEO Strategy Manager

Social signals are playing an increasingly more prevalent part in SEO. As more people take to social platforms to share and discuss current issues, it is only natural that search engines need to find ways to utilise and tap into this to help provide better and more relevant search results. Much has been discussed about this over the past couple of years and in the interest of not mentioning it again, I’ll just point you to a post from Mashable which details this nicely. However, one area I wanted to pick up on that often gets overlooked is URL shortening services. URL shortening has become the norm for social networks, particularly for applications such as Twitter and Facebook, as it allows you more characters to play about with on your status updates. Also, more people are using URL shorteners as a way of generally sharing content because it simply looks easier on the eye.  This is particularly the case of customised URL shorteners – which allow you to create a branded URL. However, time and time again, I see people on Twitter using URL shorteners that are not providing maximum impact on SEO efforts (in other words - they do not 301 redirect) or using URL shorteners that do not provide tracking (not allowing engagement measurement). Back in 2009, Danny Sullivan published a post on which URL shortening service you should use. All of a sudden, it's three years later and many new services have cropped up, while just as many  have since kicked the bucket (,, and to name but a few). With that in mind, I thought it would be useful to put an updated list together.

Service Redirect Customisable Characters Tracking Cost Sign-Up 301 Yes 13 Yes Free Optional
BudURL 301 Yes 18 Yes Paid Mandatory
Cligs 200 Yes 21 Yes Free Optional
Doiop 301 Yes 23 No Free No
Google 301 No 12 Yes Free Optional 301 Yes 28 No Free Optional 301 No 19 No Free No
Linkasa 301 Yes 22 No Free No
Moourl 302 No 23 No Free No
notlong 302 No 22 Yes Free Optional
NutshellURL 301 Yes 27 No Free No 301 No 18 No Free No 200 Yes 30 No Free Mandatory
Shorl 200 No 30 No Free No
ShortURL 302 No 23 No Free Optional
SimURL 200 No 24 Yes Free Optional
SnipURL 301 Yes 26 Yes Free Optional 301 No 19 Yes Free Mandatory
TightURL A 301 No 24 No Free No 301 Yes 21 Yes Free Optional
TinyFav 302 No 31 No Free Optional
TinyURL 301 Yes 26 No Free No
Tweetburner 302 No 22 Yes Free Optional 302 No 17 No Free No 302 No 18 No Free Optional
Yep 302 Yes 21 Yes Free No 301 No 18 No Free No 302 No 14 Yes Free Optional 200 No 24 No Free Optional 302 No 13 Yes Free Optional 301 No 14 Yes Free Mandatory 301 No 16 Yes Free Optional
Today there are a lot of default services - namely - which means that ultimately the choices are made for you (and they are good choices). However, if you do have to decide on a service to use, or your company has identified the need for custom URLs, then at the very least make sure it will provide an added layer to your SEO efforts.

If you have any questions, or know of another service which I haven't mentionned, feel free to leave a comment below!