SEO, Twitter, and Shortened Links – Benefits?

SEO, Twitter, Social Networking and Shortened Links – Of Benefit?

As I relaunch this site, the impending new dotUK site (Anyone got a ’round tuit’ and a tardis to spare!) am looking at ways of promoting them better, getting more work, and ultimately money in my pocket.  Equally in current economic climes, especially up here in the North East, I’m not the only one.  We all want more business, we want more money, but where to we spend it to make it.  SEO unfortunately is not a small investment, it takes a lot of time, a lot of research, education, changes in practive, and potentially more money invested in Marketing and PR to reap the benefits.  I’m hoping to find the middle ground to allow people to ‘self promote’, and ‘self SEO’.

Social Networking, Blogs, Facebook, and in particular Twitter are where we all are, I’m normally some way behind the bandwagon, but Twit I do, and am aiming to use it more, and encourage my clients too.  Not a month ago I told a friend I wouldn’t use Twitter to promote dotUK, it didn’t feel ‘Commerically’ right, not the correct appearance.  Am sucking that one up, dotUK is on Twitter.  Why? and get to the point because this has nothing to do with the title, why I came here, or even saving people in the North East money on SEO.

Ok, well, we promote, especially to smaller business where money has to be well spent and see good investment, our CMS (Content Management System) so they can self populate and manage their sites.  Within this we have added the ability for them to automatically update a Twitter account (Which in turn can feed Facebook and pretty much anywhere else), creating external, short, sweet, keyword heavy external links to their content.  Self SEO, cheap, just needs some setup and some education.  The cost to do this for a client on our CMS system can be a as little as £50, once.

So, the point.  Twitter limits you to 140 characters, less if you allow room for retweets (double bonus!), so we offer the use of bit.ly the url shortener, this is fully automated and gives you a bit more room to play with, but the question, and the title, do url shorteners give you the full SEO benbefit of external links.  In the main they do 301 redirects so yes, any Pagerank inheritance is kept, this is good, but of course any keywords in the url (you are making human friendly url names as best practive aren’t you?) are lost, so benefit from that is gone (much benefit?), and the human factor is gone too, will people click your link when they have no idea what sort of trip it will take them on.  Time will tell on this one I guess, I see no harm, PR (Pagerank) should be kept, and opinions are split on the rest.  Do you have any thoughts?

This posting is the personal opinion of Andy Flisher, and should be considered the thoughts, opinion and ramblings of one man, and one man alone.

Andy Flisher is a Software Developer based in the North East of England specialising in cross platform development. Mobile Development experience includes Windows Phone, Android, and iPhone Apps. Desktop Software Development includes bespoke Windows, Linux, and Mac Applications. Web Development Skills include PHP, Perl, Python, ASP (Classic and .NET) – Andy Flisher on Google+