A URL Shortener: Why Do I Need One?

A URL Shortener: Why Do I Need One?

What's a URL Shortener?

A URL Shortener is simply a technique on the Internet for taking a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) and making it substantially shorter in length whilst nonetheless directing to the required Internet page.

This is achieved by using an HTTP Redirect on a domain name that's short, which links to the Internet web page that has a protracted URL.

What are the Advantages of Using 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 lengthy URL's meant that there was little or no area for the precise message. Shortening the URL permits longer messages to be included alongside the URL.

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

Readability
Long URL's are sometime troublesome to read and if you might want to write one down then the chances or recording the URL incorrectly are high.

Memorable
In the same vein as readability the shortened URL is way more memorable. In many cases it is attainable to format the URL with a description of your individual choosing. Making URL's memorable has apparent advantages from a advertising perspective. It's a lot easier to remember bbc.co.uk/ somewhat than brainyquote.com/quotes/subjects/topic_motivational5.html?vm=l

Accumulate Statistics
For Internet or Affiliate Entrepreneurs URL Shorteners provide a mechanism to track when, where and what number of times a URL is clicked upon. Understanding these statistics is essential to the success of anybody working on-line as you have to know your target market and when they're prone to be on-line and what types of product they are more likely to purchase. I'll come back to tracking and statistics in a future post.

Search Engine Optimisation (search engine optimisation)
A great URL shortening service will pass alongside data to the goal page by utilizing something called a 301 redirect. I will not go into the technical particulars in this put up but this will help your web page to rank with sites resembling Google.

Free Service
Many of the URL providers are freed from charge. For most makes use of e.g. Social Media, a free service is absolutely fine. I will 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's usually a balance between advantages and disadvantages. The identical is true of URL Shorteners.

Spamming
The fact that you cannot see the details of the link advertising is utilized by spammers as a method of getting individuals to open links that they may in any other case ignore.

URL Shorteners Get Closed
Some URL Shorteners get closed down exactly because they don't management the level of spam that emanates from their service. If this occurs and you have been utilizing the service then your entire links grow to be useless.

Utilizing a Third Party Supplier
The URL Shortener is successfully one other third party in the process between you creating a URL and sending it to your audience. You should therefore select your supplier carefully.

Some Sites Don't allow Shortened URL's
As a result of degree of spam associated with some URL Shorteners, some sites is not going to settle for shortened URL's. This is vital for Affiliate Entrepreneurs as some suppliers will not permit shortended links that refer to affiliate merchandise, as they class this as spam!

Redirection Might Result in Efficiency Points
To resolve a shortened URL requires an extra translation between the shortened URL and the target URL. Whilst this should be negligible it should additionally depend on the supplier you employ to shorten your URL's.

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

Some of the disadvantages round spam and phishing might 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 short time period affiliate campaigns. If I write articles or e-books that I expect to live for a longer time period then I will use the domain name... and mask this whether it is too long.

Top URL Shorteners
The following is a list of the most well-liked URL Shortening Providers. In subsequent articles I will add specific reviews for these companies and in addition add more providers... my aim with this article is to carry the available data collectively in a single place and make it as complete as possible.