Zi.ma – SEO-Friendly URL Shortener with 301 Redirects and Tracking
February 18, 2009
This is just a beautiful thing.
I’ve somehow started using Twitter again after our recent SEO Meetup about social media. At the event, @george_murphy and @timstaines convinced me (@jonpayne) there was a business benefit – a way to leverage it for traffic and leads.
Anyhow, today I was looking for a good URL shortener that also does 301 redirects. Why? Well let’s suppose I post a URL of a page on one of my sites – like this blog post for example. In Twitter, since I’m limited to 140 characters I need to use some sort of URL shortener or I might not have enough room for the long URLs typically associated with blogs. Until recently, I had been using is.gd, mainly b/c I just liked the “is good” reference.
So what if – by rare occurance – someone who visits my page actually likes it and wants to link to it? If they copy the URL in their browser post-rediret than I’m fine, they’ll link straight to my site. But what if they copy the URL shortener version and then they post that in their blog or elsewhere? I’ll get the traffic, but no link juice… and those are the perfect, real, natural “editorial” type links Google is really looking for. I should get that credit…
So anyhow, I did a few searches looking for URL shorteners that have the 301 redirect built in. I came across a nice SEOmoz post, but they failed to discuss which services (of the ones they reviewed) had 301 redirects built in. I then found Andy’s Knol about URL shorteners and saw his praise of zi.ma.
So I tried it. I tried it for the 301 redirects. I am now hooked for the stats.
Zi.ma provides real-time stats that show you how many people clicked your shortened URL version, at what time and what their IP address is. Okay big deal, a little technology for basic tracking. Technology fails to impress me nowadays… but here’s the cool part – YOU DON’T HAVE TO LOG IN TO VEIW THE STATS! Yes, its beautiful.
No logging in. No account to create. No password to remember. It just works with cookies so it knows that since you created the shortened URL it will show you the stats. Seriously, you totally don’t have to create an account. For someone who has to create a dozen accounts every day and keep track of all of that, this is beautiful!