Moz Taps Bitly Inbound Link Data To Improve Search, Social Optimization

It was just a matter of time before a search engine marketing company tapped into the data from a popular URL shortener to gain more insight on inbound links. SEM and social optimization software Moz announced a partnership Monday with Bitly to tap the company's click-tracking technology and data to discover, score and display inbound links from across the Internet.

Bitly shortens nearly half a billion links and generates more than six billion clicks monthly across nearly every social site, brand site and media site in almost every country worldwide. The partnership gives Moz customers a better understanding of who links to Web sites and how relevant or valuable those links are for the brand based on the number and frequency of clicks.

Moz uses link data from Twitter to rank relevance, but Bitly's data adds insight into Facebook, Google+, blogs, online media and multiple other sources.

Rand Fishkin, Moz founder, views the push of information as unique from the pulled. "While I believe those services from folks like Google Now will add value for consumers, they won't replace or cannibalize traditional search," he said. "Much like Google moving into email or Microsoft expanding into more mobile devices, this is an attempt to bolster the castle wall around search, but likely won't have much of a direct impact, especially on marketers seeking to appear in results."

No one knows for sure how changes in search algorithm at Bing and Google will impact the importance of inbound links in the future. A new breed of Internet-connected devices will change the way people find information. Not all of these devices will have a search engine attached. Some platforms will rely on connected information through Google Knowledge Graph, for example, to push preferred information to consumers from the Web.

Bitly also announced the addition of two executives to its leadership team led by new CEO Mark Josephson. Rob Platzer was appointed to chief technology officer; and Melissa Wallace, VP of marketing. The two are tasked with driving brand value though the insights available from Bitly's encoded links.

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