TinyURL and SEO

Written by Pavan Kumar on December 19, 2008


hyperlinksTinyURL is the most popular URL shortening service. People use TinyURL so that they can limit the number of characters while sending a URL in a limited character media like twitter, sms… It becomes important to study the behavior of TinyURL in relation with SEO.

Our main aim is to know if a shortened URL is going to serve the same purpose as the original one in passing PageRank juice. To know about it, lets study the behavior of a shortened URL in terms of HTTP header request / response.

Sending request:

HEAD /4nq6r9 HTTP/1.1
Host: tinyurl.com
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20070725 Firefox/
Connection: close

• Finding host IP address…
• Host IP address =
• Finding TCP protocol…
• Binding to local socket…
• Connecting to host…
• Sending request…
• Waiting for response…

Receiving Header:

End of Header (Length = 172)

html hyperlinkNow, observe the Receiving header section, the TinyURL site is making a 301 Permanent Redirection to the destination URL. We all know that all Search Engines pass link juice in case of permanent redirection. Hence we can easily confirm that TinyURL helps us SEO and linking your site using TinyURL is not a loss.


I have seen people simply using TinyURL in forums for some link building discussions, and now it is very clear that even using TinyURL can bust them. Also it is seen that bloggers use TinyURL when they want to link some bad sites. Even this is also a bad practice, best way is to go with nofollow.

via Web1Marketing

Update: June 2, 2009: Matt Cutts clarifies about this and it is now clear to everyone that tinyurl supports SEO.



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5 Readers responded to this post

Thanks for informative post, however for me isnt clear does it pass refferer data(keyword, source url) in a case of affiliate links shortening

@ umx

Yes, it does pass referral data. If you want to hide the referral data, please go through the services listed in this post: http://www.techpavan.com/2009/06/15/how-to-hide-referral-links-for-outgoing-links-on-websites/

Really helpful. Thaks a lot!

@ umx

You are welcome. I hope you have seen some visits referred from twitter. Almost all links on twitter are shortened urls and those url shortening services send the same referral info :)

Nice…I will start shortening my links. Ill test the tiny url service if it does impact alot on SEO base.

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About The Author

    Pavan Kumar

    Pavan Kumar completed Engineering in Electronics and Communication in the year 2008. He is very enthusiastic and keen to work on different aspects of computer, internet and mobile related fields. The articles here reflect his creativity. This blog was started as a showcase of solutions for different problems and today it has got a good reputation in the blogosphere. Read More...

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