In order to stay within character limits on social media postings, real estate companies are beginning to use popular link shorteners offered by ow.ly, bit.ly, and goo.gl. It is therefore important to understand how these link shorteners work in order to use them optimally.
When using link shorteners, be sure to check whether the link is a 301 or a 302 redirect. On Hootsuite, for example, ow.ly shortened links are 301 redirects whereas ow.li ones are 302 redirects. When possible, avoid 302 redirected links, as they adversely affect SEO. 301 redirects let search engine bots know that the page has permanently moved to a new location (the original link), while 302 redirects are temporary transfers. If you use 302 redirects regularly, you may find that the shortened link ranks above the “real” one, which negatively affects SEO.
There are multiple steps ow.li shortened links take in order to be redirected to the original link. Ow.li links are first sent through a 302, then a 301 redirect. To cut out a step, and to prevent the 302 redirect from affecting SEO, you should make sure the link shortener you are using is a 301. This will let search engine bots rank the original link, as opposed to the shortened one.
Using link shorteners not only keep long links concise and manageable, but also allow you to track click through and open rates. Link metrics help show you which of your social media content is attracting more site traffic than others. With this information, you can gain an understanding of how to better engage your targeted audience.