Monthly Archives: September 2015

Don’t Use Short URL Services

I am against using url shortening services to redirect urls for 4 reasons.

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  1. Short urls add a point of failure – they go out of business and the urls go bad (or even worse get redirected to whoever buys the url service domain) or sometimes the short urls just expire and are reused (which is really lame).
    There is also the risk the country owning the domain messes things up (bit.ly using Libya – not exactly a stable country…). Likely if the domain is owned by super rich company they will pay huge ransom for domain if a country demands it – but not for sure… .be is owned by Belgium (which Google uses for YouTu.be short urls) and is probably less likely to screw with Google. But if the USA government messes with European privacy rights one path for the countries is to mess with their domains and create trouble for .be domain – or whatever other domain is in question.
  2. You lose the tremendous information value that a real human readable url provides users. You also lose the small aid to building your brand available by having them see your name in the url. Finally short urls (by throwing away the human readable url information users would benefit from) contribute to security problems by encouraging people to blindly click on links they don’t know where they are being taken. Scammers take advantage of users that are willing to follow short url links.
  3. You lose Search Engine Optimization (SEO) value of links by not linking to the actual url. For this reason it is a particularly bad idea to use short urls for your own content (but I see this done). When you are posting your content on a site that tells Google not to trust the link you entered (nofollow attribute) this point is not relevant but the other 3 points still are. And I see people use short urls even for followed links.
  4. Url shorteners delay the page load times for users. I often find urls shorteners forwarded to another url shortener forwarded to another url shortener and so on. Just last week, following a link on Harvard Business School’s Twitter account I was forwarded to 7 different urls before the actual url (a page on one of their own sites).

    If you are on a fiber internet connection and all those url redirects respond immediately it probably won’t be noticeable (so the people at Harvard may have no clue how lame they look to users) but if you are on a connection with high latency (many hundred of millions of people across the world are) it can easily take a second or two before the page even starts to load. With all the evidence on how critical fast load times are for users adding in delays with url shortener redirection is a bad practice.

    long urls written out on paper

    It would be better for this Grandmom to use short urls to write out her favorite urls to show her grandchild. via

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High MozRank DoFollow Blogs

Due to spam comments many sites add the nofollow tag to comments. For many years the nofollow tag has been the default in WordPress (you have to use a plugin to revert back to the original style where comment author links were not flagged as untrusted). With the nofollow tag Google (and Moz) do not give the link value.

Here is a list of blogs that moderate their comments and provide dofollow links giving those that contribute worthwhile comments the benefit of being considered real links by Google (and others). I will continue to keep this list updated.

Order of the list is based on MozRank with a penalty for using popups to interfere with visitors using the site. See the very bottom of this post for blogs that supposedly have dofollow comments but I have been unable to comment and my messages to them have not been answered.

Many of the best blogs that provide dofollow links require the use of your real name, a link to your home page or a blog that you obviously write, and comments that are valuable (not just meaningless drivel). They may also require numerous (normally between 3 to 10) approved comments before links become dofollow.

Unfortunately many people spam these blogs in an attempt to get dofollow links. That results in many of the blogs turning off dofollow links. Those that stay dollow are usually impatient with spamming low quality comments and remove poor quality links that are not personal blogs. If you comment, post valuable comments if you expect to get a dollow link, otherwise you are just contributing to the decline of blogs that provide dofollow links.

Why don’t I list 50 or 100 more that are nofollow, haven’t been used in years and where the domain was deleted? That doesn’t make sense to me. But, maybe I am crazy (so I explain my craziness here), since most other listings do that.

If you know of dofollow blogs with at least a 1 year track record and that has compelling posts (if it isn’t of high quality it will likely die so it isn’t worth adding just to have to remove it later) add a comment with the information on the blog.

Related: Ignoring Direct Social Web Signals in Search ResultsGoogle and Links (2012)Using Twitter Data to Improve Search Results

* CommentLuvDF – they dofollow blog-post-title-link (usually only after between 3 to 10 approved comments) but not author link

These blogs don’t work for me (or often don’t work but work sometimes). Either:

  • they don’t post my comments and don’t reply to my contact messages about why (if they decided to block them because they didn’t value the comment that would be fine, it is their blog – but most likely they have a spam filter that just trashes my comments) but do have some dofollow comments.
  • they removed links to author’s blog (and comment luv post link) from comments that were made. It is their right to do so. But the links removed were links to personal blogs and if they are removing those links they don’t really fit in a list of dofollow blogs.
  • or they delete (probably too aggressive spam filter but maybe manual action, there is no way to know) many comments without notice to the comment author.
  • 5.7 Adrienne Smith (MPA 49, MSS 2, CommentLuvDF)
  • 5.3 Sylvia Nenuccio (MPA 35, MSS 0, CommentLuvDF)
  • 5.2 Sherman Smith’s Blog (MPA 43, MSS 2, CommentLuvDF, popup)
  • 5.4 Power Affiliate Club (MPA 33, MSS 2, CommentLuvDF, popup)