Having shorter URLs to your blog posts has its advantages –
- Shorter URLs can be used by the print media like newspapers/magazines to link to the online content
- Readers can quickly share shorter links via email/IM to their friends without worrying about sending incorrect URL due to formatting errors during copy-paste
At the same time, short URLs do not describe the content of the page and hence are not as search engine friendly as longer ones. SEO experts suggest using descriptive URLs. These are useful for search engines but for the readers they may not be easy to use. Long and huge URLs may scare some of your readers.
So how can we provide a page which has the advantage of being SEO friendly at the same time providing ease of use to the readers?
Here’s a simple workaround –
- Use longer URLs for your blog posts (see the address bar of this page). Search engines will follow this link so you get your pages listed better.
- Display the shorter URL somewhere at a prominent place on the webpage so that users can easily copy the short URLs from there and use them to email/IM to their friends. Print media can also use the links to display in the newspapers/magazines (See the Tiny link displayed above on this page)
How do I create short links?
- If you are a hosting a WordPress.org powered blog, you can use the
http://yoursitename.com/p?=idas a short URL where
yoursitename.comis the link to your blog and
idis the numeric id to your blog post.
- You can easily incorporate this in your themes’s single.php template by inserting following lines of code wherever you want to display the short URL. Be sure to use the code within your WordPress loop
<a href="<?php echo $post->guid; ?>" rel="bookmark" title="Tiny link to this article"><?php echo $post->guid; ?></a>
- You can style it as you want using your theme’s CSS stylesheet
I don’t use WordPress…what should I do?
If you are not on WordPress, you can still create shorter URLs using services provided by various websites –