Over the coming weeks I am writing a number of articles on URL Shortener s. I have been using Shortened URL’s for a long time and it was not until people started asking me about that I awakened Google URL Shortener to the fact that they are only really understood by people engaged in On-line Business. Which means this series of articles aims to provde something for the beginner and, hopefully, something for the more veteran Online Professional.
In this first article I will cover What is a URL Shortener and what are the advantages and drawbacks of using one. I will also provide an ‘Initial’ list of URL Shortening Providers (there are over 200 in existence today! ) which, over time, I will provide more information on… so check back if you want additional information… or let me know if you want a particular provider reviewed a bit quicker.
In future articles I will cover, in addition to the provider reviews, a look at Free versus Paid for services; how to check and verify a shortened link and then on to some tracking information.
What is a URL Shortener?
A URL Shortener is simply a strategy on the internet when planning on taking a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) and making it significantly shorter long whilst still directing to the required Web page.
This is achieved by using an HTTP Redirect on a url of your website that is short, which links to the Web page that has a long URL.
What are the Advantages of Using a URL Shortener?
With the advent of Social media sites like Twitter and Identi. los angeles that only allow a relatively small number of characters in a message, using long URL’s meant that there was no space for the actual message. Shortening the URL allows longer messages to be included alongside the URL.
Shortening the URL allows the originating web site to be masked. It’s some disadvantages i always covers later but, from a positive perspective, it does allow an address to be made ‘more presentable’ i. e. by removing all those relatively random characters and also to hide the originating url of your website that, for whatever reason, people may not choose to click on.
Long URL’s are sometime difficult to see and if you need to write one down then the chances or recording the URL incorrectly are high.
In the same train of thought as readability the shortened URL is far more memorable. In many cases it is possible to format the URL with a description of your choosing. Making URL’s memorable has obvious advantages from a marketing perspective. It is much easier to remember bbc. company. uk/ rather than brainyquote. com/quotes/topics/topic_motivational5. html? vm=l
For Internet or Affiliates URL Shortener s provide a mechanism to track when, where and how many times a URL is made itself known yet upon. Knowing these statistics is essential to the success of anyone working on-line as you should know your target market and when they will tend to be online and what forms of product they are likely to purchase. I will get back to tracking and statistics in a future post.
A good URL shortening service will pass along information to the target page by using something called a 301 redirect. I won’t type in the technical details in this post but this will help your page to rank with sites such as Google.
Many of the URL services are free of charge. For most uses e. grams. Social media, a free service is perfectly fine. I will discuss in a future post the advantages and drawbacks of free versus paid for URL Shortener s.
What are the Disadvantages of Using a URL Shortener?
Like most things in life there is normally a balance between advantages and drawbacks. The same will additionally apply to URL Shortener s.
The fact that you cannot see the details of the web link is used by spammers as an easy way of getting individuals to open links that they might otherwise ignore.
URL Shortener s Get Closed
Some URL Shortener s get closed down precisely because they don’t control the quality of spam that emanates from their service. Should this happen and you have been using the service then all of your links become useless.
Using an authorized Provider
The URL Shortener is effectively another alternative party in the process between you creating a URL and sending it to your audience. You should therefore choose your provider carefully.
Some Sites Do not allow Shortened URL’s
Due to the level of spam associated with some URL Shortener s, some sites will not accept shortened URL’s. This is important for Affiliates as some providers will not allow shortended links that refer to affiliate products, as they class this as spam!
Redirection Could cause Performance Issues
To end a shortened URL requires an extra translation between the shortened URL and the target URL. Whilst this should be negligible it will likewise depend on the provider you use to shorten your URL’s.
Are URL Shortener s Good or Bad?
In my opinion URL Shortener s have a valid role to play, particularly where the life span or a URL is not long… which is particularly true of Social media.
Some of the disadvantages around spam and phishing can be true of any URL, not just shortened ones… the same holds true with all links, be careful what you click on!
My rule of thumb is that we use a URL Shortener for Social media and for short term affiliate campaigns. If i write articles or e-books that we expect you’ll live for a longer period of time then i uses the url of your website… and mask this if it is too long.
Top URL Shortener s
The following is a list of the most popular URL Shortening Providers. In subsequent articles I will add specific reviews for these services and also add more providers… my aim with this article is to bring the available information together in one place and make it as comprehensive as possible.
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I hope you have found this information useful. If you want to follow the subject then head over to my blog where I am posting additional information.