Table of Contents
With the popularity of social media came the rise of “link in bio” tools which allow users to create a landing page featuring multiple links they want to share with their audience.
Initially designed to get around Instagram’s one-link rule, many brands and influencers now use them in other social media networks to easily share content with one link. Some even consider their link-in-bio page as a website replacement.
But, are they good for ranking in search engines? This article will look at ‘link in bio’ platforms from an SEO perspective.
‘Link in bio’ platforms from an SEO perspective
Also known as “link list page” apps or “social media landing page” tools, these platforms have virtually proliferated overnight.
They are characterized by short, trendy names that often combine with their unique top-level domains to create easily understood, phonetically spelled word-grams (like “linktr.ee” and “hoo.be”).
Surprisingly, many popular social media influencers opt for these simplistic link pages when they can afford to have custom, standalone websites built to do whatever they wish.
But, websites can be challenging to maintain, so these one-page platforms have filled a significant market niche.
That said, convenience and ease of use are not the only considerations when it comes to your online presence. Search engine optimization (SEO) still matters for improving a brand’s visibility in search results.
Popular and higher-quality web content tends to rank higher in search results, and one of the many ways search engines determine popularity is by analyzing links.
In addition, popular social media profiles are likely to have already accrued large amounts of “ranking weight” as Google analyzes the link graph within the social network where the account is located.
Also, popular social media accounts may be mentioned in other social networks’ posts and on many webpages (i.e., news articles and elsewhere).
If you have a big following on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok or elsewhere, your link-in-bio platform may affect how effectively your link weight flows to other accounts where you are less popular or webpages you link to.
So while you have many factors to consider when choosing a platform, don’t overlook the SEO element.
A comparison matrix follows to help determine which link list page platforms are the best, primarily from an SEO perspective.
‘Link in bio’ platforms: A comparison
The best ‘link in bio’ platforms ranked with the best at the top and the worst at the bottom.
|Site||Custom Page URL Form||Are Links Followed?||# Pages Indexed||Additional Notes|
|my.playbookapp.io||my.playbookapp.io/[yourname]||Yes||6,230||This is more of a rev-share app for athletes/trainers/coaches. But, a nice format for those in that niche.|
|about.me||about.me/[yourname]||No||1,270,000||Good construction – so many pages Google might ignore the nofollows.|
|shor.by||shor.by/[yourname]||Yes, but links 302 redirected.||82,800 *||All links appear to be automatically replaced by shor.by 302 temporary redirects. The redirected links make it more difficult to see how many actual shor.by pages Google has indexed vs. mere redirects. It’s likely one-fourth to one-half as many as reflected in our count here.|
|beacons.ai||beacons.ai/[yourname]||No||82,400||Weirdly, beacons.ai pages have robots meta tags that instruct “index, follow,” but the individual links have rel=”nofollow.” The result is still nonoptimal.|
|lu.ma||lu.ma/[yourname]||No||20,500||Lu.ma is more of an online event-hosting facilitation service than a link page provider.|
|c8ke.com||[yourname].c8ke.com||N/A: JS links||809|
|bio.fm||bio.fm/[yourname]||Yes||165||Googlebot useragent appears to be blocked from bio.fm, as profiles reflect a 503 status code.|
|shopinbio.com||shopinbio.com/[yourname]||Yes||60||Provides small, multi-page/product shops. Appears to be more Kazakhstani-oriented and does not appear to be fully baked yet.|
|linkinprofile.com||linkinprofile.com/[yourname]||No||7||Tempting to use because after setup, all you need to do is add a URL in an Instagram post and it will create a parallel post on the linkinprofile.com page! Unfortunately, those pages are all noindexed and links are nofollowed.|
|t.me||t.me/[yourname]||N/A||4,760,000||Telegram Messenger provides t.me landing pages. They are not exactly link-in-bio pages, but people use them as they are. There is no provision to add links to other sites, but people add links in plain, unclickable text. With no links, these are less-than-optimal so sending this to the bottom of the list.|
Notes on the SEO assessment
The sites ranked highest in the list enable users to add “follow” links.
Years ago, Google recommended that sites allowing users to add links should add a
rel="nofollow" in the code, which tells the search engine that the website is not endorsing the link. This halted the flow of any link weight value to the pages linked to.
However, Google has recently stated that they will sometimes count the link weight.
They also added other attributes:
rel="ugc" for user-generated content and
rel="sponsored" for paid advertising or purchased links.
Despite the blurriness of Google’s stance, assuming they will not count it is safer.
The next criterion was whether the link-in-bio provider allows users to customize the URL.
This is an expected feature among all providers as they have allowed users to include their handles as part of the page URL – as signified in our list with [yourname].
(You should use a sequence that most closely imitates your main brand name. Example: As my name is “Chris Smith,” an ideal handle/username would be “chrissmith.”)
Shorter URLs are generally more advantageous in organic search rankings, but this is such a marginal impact compared with other elements that we did not count it.
By the nature of the business, most link-in-bio providers have formulated nicely short URLs already.
Next, we considered the number of profile pages the platform has indexed.
Indexability and popularity may indicate how well they are likely to perform in search engines.
Also, the more pages a platform hosts, the more likely Google is to try to understand and use its signals and content.
Finally, we also looked for other issues which limit the pages’ performance in search, including:
- Robots.txt that are blocking search engines from crawling the pages.
I considered whether Google shows the page content in cached version and text-only cached version.
However, in a few instances, the content was fully rendered and seemed to be seen by Google.
Based on all this, my top 10 are:
Get the daily newsletter search marketers rely on.
What does Google say about link-in-bio pages?
To my knowledge, Google personnel have not said anything about link-in-bio pages.
In general, Google is platform-agnostic. They are unlikely to take exception to anyone using such websites unless people are using the tools to try to manipulate rankings.
Using a link-in-bio page as a hub for your social media profiles is not breaking the rules.
Google likely wants individuals and companies to interlink their primary identity assets online for their knowledge graph.
If a subject has consistently interlinked between their social media sites and websites, it becomes easier to identify those items as part of the same entity.
Google search advocate John Mueller recently advised someone that when linking to your own social media profiles, they should not be nofollowed as you would likely trust links to your own profiles.
To nofollow the links is to convey that you do not trust or endorse links to your own properties.
Mueller further recommends that when you link to your own social media profiles from your website, it is a best practice to use
rel="me" to convey that the properties linked are related to one another and that they are the authoritative ones for your identity.
Based on all this, an implicit corollary could be that Google would generally prefer that your main link page should not have nofollow in the links to your other profiles. (I’m intentionally being jokingly disingenuous here with this deductive reasoning.)
The implications of link-in-bio pages on search
For those operating link-in-bio page platforms, there is an argument for not imposing nofollow on the links of those creating their one-page websites with you. Or, possibly, the appropriate parameter combo for links would be to use
rel="me ugc" instead of
But, an even more critical issue is that the pages must be accessible to search engine spiders to work right on the web.
- Robots.txt files must allow the link-in-bio pages to be crawled.
- If the links added to pages are being passed through a redirect URL for analytic purposes, those links ought to be 301 redirects.
For influencers and brands looking to use link-in-bio pages as part of their overall web presence management, the pages’ SEO-friendliness should be a key consideration over visual design options, costs, and other features.
If you are building your social media presence, choosing a platform that considers proper SEO elements will help maximize your marketing efforts.
Your followers can easily find all your accounts, which may rank the highest they can for all the topics and keywords you focus on.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.