Link Shorteners & Clickthrough Rates for Social

All else equal, does using the link shortener device result in higher click-through rates?

  • Is it safe to assume that those that use regularly, and self-link more often, generally show a drop in clicks as a result?

  • While those that self-link only occasionally and use, do not (due to ‘discovery’ element)?

Of course all of this depend on the level of curiousity/engagement of the potential clicker.

Anxious to hear some feedback.

I would argue that using link shorteners increases your click-through rate based solely on the idea that most people would find themselves much more compelled to click on a link which is 10 characters long rather than a link which is 150 characters and looks like some combinatorics equation.

On the other hand, I am much more likely to click on a link if I can see where it goes, ie what domain it points to. That’s why I am in favour of sites providing their own “short link” framework, where a shortened form that can easily be typed and copied is used and redirects through to the full URL. For example, the URL given for this thread is [noparse][/noparse], but you can cut it short to just [noparse][/noparse]. That’s a more manageable URL, but you still know what site it will take you to, whereas could be taking you absolutely anywhere…

Which could well have malicious code on it, from my experience.

I agree with you, but not completely sure others see it that way.


I do. :slight_smile: I’m very unlikely to click a link, unless I can see where it’s going to take me. It may depend on how web-savvy you think your audience is likely to be. I suspect those with more knowledge are less likely to click links to unknown destinations, whereas other users may not care - or even know how to check where the link is taking them. In either case, I don’t see an advantage to using short URLs, but I do see a disadvantage.

Found this person, who I can’t vouch for, though G. seems to give some importance via rankings: (‘link shorteners click rate’)

Who cites Buddy Media

Buddy saying that click thru’s are 3 times higher for FB when using full urls, as opposed to shorteners.
Best days to post: Thurs/Fri. Plus other interesting stats.

Back to the first, she says too that posting on FB between 1 and 3 pm is usually best when trafiic for FB is at a high. [I]Weds at 3 pm is best.


Keep in mind that days & time are extremely audience dependent so while you should start with a best practice you have to test it for yourself and keep testing it as you grow… Different groups use Facebook very differently.

[ot]Subsequent posts moved to, as they were off-topic here.[/ot]

Me personally, if the link is from a trusted source, I’ll click the link no matter if its shortened or not. Otherwise I’m always careful and I’m not clicking on anything that I can’t see where it leads to. Works nicely for me so far.

From my point of view, it will work for some time, as every time we can’t full url in some site’s like twitter…coming to Roi, short url will works , as people may feel to know about what exactly is there…!
on negative side, some may not suppose to know for like , as they thinks its an tricky way to manipulate…

The other thing that could appear as a shortened link, is the link that has been applied for tracking purposes, since Google doesn’t track for twitter. Do all the trackers change the entire link string or just some of them?

Does G. have any plans to start tracking?

I’ve never really been a fan of link shorteners. I personally knowing where the link takes me. But for platforms like twitter, sometimes you need to use bitly for analytics and to fit your tweet. For websites/blogs, i would go with the full url. In my experience i’ve seen higher CTR.

Just because it “appears” to come from a trusted source doesn’t mean it actually came from them. Anyone can send emails that appear to come from whoever they identify as the sender and even if it did really come from their computer that may have been compromised.