URL Shortening is a very common and preferred technique where the URL is made substantially short in length and still it directs to the required page. The World Wide Web prefers this technique due to various advantages of shrinking the Uniform Resource Locator (URL). Long URLs can be at times tricky, complex, and bit distracting. The user is redirected to the domain name that is short and links to the same web page that has the long URL. Basically, Twitter initiated with this URL Shortening Service and these days there are many new URL Shortening Services available. Today many popular websites and web services have come up with their own shorteners. For example, Google and Facebook have their own URL Shorteners, i.e., Goo.gl and Fb.me, respectively.
The advantages of using shortened URLs are many today and people are looking ahead for such tools. For example, it is desirable that the tweet on Twitter should be less than 140 characters. It makes it more suitable for re-tweeting as well. Also, in addition to the shortening tools many social networks and management dashboards also offer a way to shorten long URLs automatically. According to reports, in November 2009, the shortened URL links by the service Bitly were accessed 2.1 billion times. Below are some of the advantages of shortened URLs:-
- Easy to communicate and enter short links
- Less scope for error in writing short URLs
- Convenient for messaging technologies with low character limit
- Beautify the link
- Tracking of Clicks
- Easy to share
- Higher Click Through Rate (CTR)
- Disguising the underlying address (mainly useful for personal or legitimate reasons)
- Security advantages as compared to long URLs
So, some the trusted and most frequently used URL Shorteners are as follows:-
This is the URL shortener by the world’s biggest search engine, Google, itself and considered the best by everyone in the web world. By simply writing the long link in the space, and pressing enter, one can get the shortened link in just a few seconds. For Example, the URL http://example.com/about/index.html is shortened to https://goo.gl/aO3Ssc..Also, one can build up a history of the short URLs if one is logged in into their Google account. Apart from all this, one can also see the details of the short URL like how many times the short URL has been clicked, the referrer of the click, the visitor profile like their Country, Browser, OS, etc. With all this one must surely try Goo.gl.
This is one URL shortener that pays you while shortening the URL as well. In 2016, it has become one of the most popular URL shorteners that aids in money making as well. One can shrink about 20 URLs in one go as Shorte.st has a mass shrinker. Also, their WordPress plugin can be used to make money, if you are a WordPress blogger. But, be careful, as Link Shrinkers that are ad based, like this one, are not seen as a good practice by the social media sites. So, it should be avoided for use with your personal profile.
- Godaddy URL Shortener
This URL Shrinker is exclusively only for those 14 million users who have a domain or hosting with Godaddy. It allows its users to create the shortened URL with two separate domain extensions including x.co. The advantage of using this is that Godaddy is a trusted brand and there are no dead links or cookie stuffing with this. Also, one of the very interesting features which come while using Godaddy is that one can create branded URL shortener and that too free of cost.
This is one of the best URL shorteners and the most preferred one before Goo.gl came into the picture. If one has an account on Bit.ly, it offers to track and keep details of the links, which makes it advantageous over the others. After clicking on the Shorten button, there is a link displayed below in a few seconds and one can see the details by clicking the “Info Page+” option. One can see the details of the number of recent tweets and shares about the link along with the traffic of the link, the referrers, and the location. Many experts do not recommend using Bit.ly for those who deal with affiliate marketing. According to Bit.ly, affiliate cookies are added to shortened URLs by free users.
- iOS and Android App
With people using more of smartphones than desktops for their everyday net surfing, it is a must to have URL shortener for iOS and Android phones. People use loads of apps and many tools on their handsets and a URL shortener App is a must for them. The following are the links to URL shorteners for Chrome and Android respectively:-
- Free add-on for Goo.gl URL shortener
- Android Goo.gl URL shortener app
So, if you are still wondering whether you should try out some URL shorteners or not, then you are just a click away and go ahead with using the above listed URL Shorteners. Not only it will shrink the long URL, but it will also prove to be less distrctful, easy to communicate, share and track, and also improve the CTR. So, just go ahead and try them out.