A URL Shortener: Why Do I Want One?

A URL Shortener: Why Do I Want One?

What's a URL Shortener?

A URL Shortener is just a way on the Internet for taking a Uniform Useful resource Locator (URL) and making it considerably shorter in size whilst still directing to the required Internet page.

This is achieved by utilizing an HTTP Redirect on a domain name that is short, which links to the Internet page that has a long URL.

What are the Advantages of Utilizing a URL Shortener?

Social Media
With the advent of Social Media sites like Twitter and Identi.ca that only allow a comparatively small number of characters in a message, using long URL's meant that there was little or no space for the actual message. Shortening the URL permits longer messages to be included alongside the URL.

Disguise
Shortening the URL permits the originating web address to be disguised. This has some disadvantages which I'll cover later however, from a optimistic perspective, it does enable an address to be made 'more presentable' i.e. by removing all these seemingly random characters and in addition to hide the originating domain name that, for no matter reason, individuals could not select to click on on.

Readability
Lengthy URL's are sometime tough to read and if you must write one down then the probabilities or recording the URL incorrectly are high.

Memorable
In the identical vein as readability the shortened URL is much more memorable. In many cases it's doable to format the URL with a description of your individual choosing. Making URL's memorable has apparent advantages from a advertising perspective. It is a lot simpler to recollect bbc.co.uk/ fairly than brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_motivational5.html?vm=l

Accumulate Statistics
For Internet or Affiliate Marketers URL Shorteners present a mechanism to track when, where and how many occasions a URL is clicked upon. Figuring out these statistics is essential to the success of anyone working on-line as it's important to know your target market and when they're more likely to be on-line and what types of product they are prone to purchase. I will come back to tracking and statistics in a future post.

Search Engine Optimisation (search engine marketing)
An excellent URL shortening service will pass along information to the target web page through the use of something called a 301 redirect. I will not go into the technical details in this put up however this will assist your page to rank with sites comparable to Google.

Free Service
Many of the URL providers are free of charge. For many makes use of e.g. Social Media, a free service is absolutely fine. I'll talk about in a future post the advantages and disadvantages of free vs paid for URL Shorteners.

What are the Disadvantages of Utilizing a URL Shortener?

Like most things in life there may be normally a balance between advantages and disadvantages. The identical is true of URL Shorteners.

Spamming
The truth that you cannot see the small print of the link is used by spammers as a way of getting individuals to open links that they may otherwise ignore.

URL Shorteners Get Closed
Some URL Shorteners get closed down exactly because they do not control the extent of spam that emanates from their service. If this occurs and you've got been utilizing the service then all your links grow to be useless.

Using a Third Party Provider
The URL Shortener is effectively one other third party within the process between you creating a URL and sending it to your audience. It is best to therefore select your supplier carefully.

Some Sites Do not permit Shortened URL's
As a result of level of spam associated with some URL Shorteners, some sites is not going to settle for shortened URL's. This is essential for Affiliate Entrepreneurs as some suppliers won't enable shortended links that seek advice from affiliate products, as they class this as spam!

Redirection Might End in Performance Issues
To resolve a shortened URL requires an additional translation between the shortened URL and the goal URL. Whilst this must be negligible it would additionally depend upon the provider you use to shorten your URL's.

Are URL Shorteners Good or Bad?
In my view URL Shorteners have a legitimate position to play, particularly where the life expectancy or a URL isn't long... which is particularly true of Social Media.

A number of the disadvantages around spam and phishing will be true of any URL, not just shortened ones... the same is true with all links, be careful what you click on!

My rule of thumb is that I take advantage of a URL Shortener for Social Media and for brief time period affiliate campaigns. If I write articles or e-books that I anticipate to live for a longer time period then I'll use the domain name... and mask this whether it is too long.

Prime URL Shorteners
The following is a list of the most popular URL Shortening Providers. In subsequent articles I'll add particular critiques for these companies and also add more providers... my goal with this article is to deliver the available data collectively in a single place and make it as complete as possible.
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