Android platform is not able to render URLs shortened by bit.ly, which include dashes in blog post titles. To guarantee all users can read your posts via mobiles, be sure not to utilise dashes in blog post titles.
Last week, a client flagged up to us that their site wasn’t getting Android traffic on certain posts. True, Android traffic is never high, but when it slips to 0 visits, there must be something wrong. When the client looked into the posts, it was evident the titles of these blog posts each had a dash (-) in them. The majority of traffic to these posts comes from Twitter via Bit.ly links.
With the help of my local Orange Shop (HTC Hero Graphite anyone?), and some rigorous testing by @spamhendricks, it can be concluded that Android is not rendering bit.ly links which have dashes in certain instances. Specifically, when a blog post title utilises a dash, a bit.ly link won’t render on the Android platform.
For example, here is an SEOptimise blog post with a dash in the title.
The URL for this blog post is:
As you can see, dashes are utilised in the URL for two reasons. First, the dash between “roll-out” appears in the URL. Second, all spaces in the title are also accounted for as dashes.
This link is then bit.ly-fied to appear as:
If you have an Android phone, this bit.ly link will not render.
This issue is most likely to affect blog promotion across the social media sphere. But it can also affect press release promotion, news stories, and essentially anything where a dash is included in the H1, and then promoted via the popular link shortening service of Bit.ly.
What I’m struggling to understand is why this Android rendering issue is only valid if the title of the blog post has a dash; the issue is not reflected in the URL.
This URL from the earlier example for the blog post “Did Google Just Roll-Out Panda 3.2 (2012 edition)” includes one dash in the title of the blog post.
This second URL is for the blog post without any dashes “Foursquare 2012 | Experience, Thoughts and 6 Immense Tips for Your Business”.
In this second example, the URL still utilises dashes to make up for the spaces in the post title. And yet, in this second example the bit.ly link renders on Android platforms just fine. Why?
What do you think? Why does the title of the blog post equate to Android users being able to view the post or not view the post? Is this enough reason to stop utilising bit.ly?