25 URL Shorteners With 301 Redirects

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Published February 28, 2013 by Brad Knutson
Short URL

In todays world of 140 characters or less, short URLs are all the rage. There are many legitimate uses for these short URLs. How do they affect SEO, though?

Below, I’ve generated a list of 25 useful URL shorteners, all that generate 301 redirects. Why are 301 redirects important? A 301 redirect tells search engines that the URL requested is a permanent redirect. The alternative is a 302 redirect, which tells search engines that it’s a “temporary” redirect. Search engines pass link credit through 301s, but not 302s, which is why 301 redirects are important.

The list below is sorted through an arbitrary formula I wrote to calculate the “best” URL shortener. Of course, this is by no means a definitive ranking, just what my formula came up with.

Service Short Domain Redirect Tracking Custom URL Length Example
TinyArrows ta.gd 301 Yes Yes 9 http://ta.gd/ekd
Qy.fi qy.fi 301 No Yes 9 http://qy.fi/e0t
TinyArrows ri.ms 301 Yes Yes 10 http://ri.ms/a0s3
HootSuite ow.ly 301 Yes Yes 11 http://ow.ly/i7rH7
HootSuite ht.ly 301 Yes Yes 11 http://ht.ly/i7rH7
Is.gd is.gd 301 No Yes 11 http://is.gd/05d0R5
Rock.to rock.to 301 Yes Yes 12 http://rock.to/muv7
V.gd v.gd 301 No Yes 12 http://v.gd/K7HwON
Bitly bit.ly 301 Yes Yes 13 http://bit.ly/ZKdYbB
SnipURL cl.lk 301 Yes Yes 13 http://cl.lk/26huced
Redir.ec redir.ec 301 Yes Yes 13 http://redir.ec/Gmb9
Fwd.as fwd.as 301 No Yes 13 http://fwd.as/tg3CC0
Metamark xrl.us 301 No Yes 13 http://xrl.us/boke96
Tiny.cc tiny.cc 301 Yes Yes 14 http://tiny.cc/sb37sw
SnipURL sn.im 301 Yes Yes 14 http://sn.im/26huced
Short.ie short.ie 301 Yes Yes 15 http://short.ie/483aix
SnipURL snurl.com 301 Yes Yes 17 http://snurl.com/26huced
SnipURL snipr.com 301 Yes Yes 17 http://snipr.com/26huced
SnipURL snipurl.com 301 Yes Yes 19 http://snipurl.com/26huced
TinyURL tinyurl.com 301 No Yes 19 http://tinyurl.com/c8xugfa
Tr.im tr.im 301 No No 10 http://tr.im/zx88
Google goo.gl 301 Yes No 12 http://goo.gl/4PdrB
StumbleUpon su.pr 301 Yes No 12 http://su.pr/55X9H2
Twitter t.co 301 No No 13 http://t.co/8svYjZdL
WordPress wp.me 301 No No 14 http://wp.me/P3aWil-2

A big plus is the ability to create your own short URLs. If you can somehow work in a keyword into your short URL, you should consider it an added bonus.

Honorable Mentions

Service Short Domain Redirect Tracking Custom URL Length Example
HurlMe hurl.me 301 No No 14 http://hurl.me/hIzmq5

A few quick notes.

T.co – Twitter shortened URLs can only be generated by Tweeting a URL. All URLs inserted into Tweets will be wrapped in a t.co URL. This means that currently there is no URL customization and no analytics tied to these shortened URLs.

Wp.me – All WordPress.com blogs and websites by default will generate a short URL for every post. If you have a self-hosted WordPress site, and you have JetPack installed, you will also be able to generate the wp.me shortened URLs. Here is a post from WordPress explaining how to generate these links: http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2009/08/14/shorten/.

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Founder at Inbounderish
Brad Knutson is a Web Developer in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. He has experience working with WordPress and Drupal, and also has an interest in SEO and Inbound Marketing.

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17 thoughts on “25 URL Shorteners With 301 Redirects

  1. Brad Knutson Post author

    I recently came across http://po.st. It’s a sharing utility, like AddThis, but it has a URL shortener built in – pretty cool. I generated a short link for my own domain.

    http://po.st/2UFTfv

    Pros: It’s short (12 character after http), po.st is easy to remember, 301 redirect, and analytics if you register for an account.

    Cons: There is no option to choose your own custom URL.

    Reply
  2. ebinx

    Well researched info Brad- points straight into the right direction and saves time do do reasearch on your own. Great job!
    (BRAD have a glance at, AND fix your link to your G+ profile in your BIO section – and delete this part of the coment if you want to..)

    Reply
    1. Brad Knutson Post author

      Thanks for the comment, and the heads up about my Google Plus link being broken :)

  3. Chris Peckham

    I understand that HTTP 301 is cacheable, so I think it follows that URL shorteners that offer analytics might be under-counting since sometimes the client will be getting the redirect ‘downstream’. Just wondered if anyone had any thoughts on this? If analytics is important in a particular use-case, would I opt for HTTP 302?

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Brad Knutson Post author

      That’s a good point Chris. I wonder if browsers also cache 302 redirects, however. I understand it’s a “temporary” redirect but I suspect each browser has unique settings that control caching redirects.

      I don’t trust analytics for short URLs like Bitly – if I’m ever really concerned about tracking hits I’ll add a Google Analytics campaign string to the end of my long URL and track it through GA. Of course, this doesn’t work for URLs that I don’t own, so in those cases I’m forced to trust whatever Bitly and the other services give me.

    1. Brad Knutson Post author

      There are several tools out there that will tell you this. I use Ayima Redirect Path – a chrome extension.

  4. Jalal

    I’ve changed my shortener service http://wis.al redirection form 302 to 301

    Built using python flask, mysql on nginx.

    You get hit counts and a history of your shortened urls. It’s for free.

    Check it out.

    Reply

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