A URL Shortener: Why Do I Need One?  

A URL Shortener: Why Do I Need One?

Over the coming weeks I will likely be writing a number of articles on URL Shorteners. I have been utilizing Shortened URL's for a while and it wasn't till individuals started asking me about that I realised that they are only really understood by people engaged in On-line Business. So this series of articles aims to provde something for the newbie and, hopefully, something for the more seasoned Online Professional.

In this first article I will cowl What is a URL Shortener and what are the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing one. I can even provide an 'Preliminary' list of URL Shortening Suppliers (there are over 200 in existence right this moment!) which, over time, I will provide further info on... so check back if you would like more details... or let me know if you want a specific supplier reviewed a bit quicker.

In future articles I'll cowl, in addition to the supplier opinions, a look at Free vs Paid for services; how you can check and validate a shortened link and then on to some tracking information.

What is 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 through the use of an HTTP Redirect on a domain name that's brief, which links to the Internet 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 solely enable a relatively small number of characters in a message, using long 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 but, from a optimistic perspective, it does permit 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, people might not select to click on.

Readskill
Lengthy URL's are someday tough to read and if it's essential write one down then the chances or recording the URL incorrectly are high.

Memorable
In the identical vein as readcapability the shortened URL is way more memorable. In lots of cases it is attainable to format the URL with an outline of your own choosing. Making url shortener to earn money's memorable has apparent advantages from a advertising perspective. It's much easier to recollect bbc.co.uk/ slightly than brainyquote.com/quotes/matters/topic_motivational5.html?vm=l

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

Search Engine Optimisation (search engine optimization)
A superb URL shortening service will pass along data to the goal page by utilizing something called a 301 redirect. I will not go into the technical particulars in this publish however this will help your web page to rank with sites equivalent to Google.

Free Service
Most of the URL companies are free of charge. For most makes use of e.g. Social Media, a free service is completely fine. I will talk about in a future submit the advantages and disadvantages of free vs paid for URL Shorteners.

What are the Disadvantages of Using a URL Shortener?

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

Spamming
The fact that you can not see the small print of the link is used by spammers as a way of getting folks to open links that they might in any other case ignore.

URL Shorteners Get Closed
Some URL Shorteners get closed down precisely because they do not management the extent of spam that emanates from their service. If this happens and you have been using the service then your whole links turn out to be useless.

Using a Third Party Provider
The URL Shortener is successfully one other third party within the process between you making 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 stage of spam associated with some URL Shorteners, some sites is not going to settle for shortened URL's. This is important for Affiliate Entrepreneurs as some suppliers is not going to permit shortended links that check with affiliate products, as they class this as spam!

Redirection Could End in Efficiency Points
To resolve a shortened URL requires an extra translation between the shortened URL and the goal URL. Whilst this should be negligible it will also depend upon the provider you employ to shorten your URL's.

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

A few of the disadvantages around spam and phishing will be true of any URL, not just shortened ones... the same is true with all links, watch out what you click on 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 anticipate to live for a longer time period then I'll use the domain name... and masks this whether it is too long.

Top URL Shorteners
The following is a listing of the preferred URL Shortening Providers. In subsequent articles I will add specific evaluations for these services and also add more providers... my goal with this article is to convey the available data together in one place and make it as comprehensive as possible.