Comprehensive guide to URL Shortening : How to Shorten


URL is the basic way with which we either share or visit a particular web page. URL is nothing but the address of a particular web page on the world wide web. And it makes sense. Instead of sharing a long, confusing, randomly arranged set of characters, it is better of to share a URL whose length doesn’t exceed 10 characters. Keeping in mind the limit of characters that we have on certain platforms like Twitter, it makes more sense to do so. However, there are disadvantages too, which we’re going to discuss in this article.

First of all, let me introduce you to the top three services that allow you to shorten URLs:

1) bit.ly

bitly-home-page

Note: bitly and its logo are registered trademarks of Bitly company

 

Bitly URL shortener is perhaps one of the leading URL shorteners around. With its simple user interface, and a mere two-step process to shorten a URL, it has established itself as a major player. Go to http://bitly.com and sign up for a new account (or login if you already have one). You’ll be redirected to your account dashboard. Click on Create Bitlink located on the top-right corner.

After that, paste your long URL and click on Create. It will create a short link on its domain bit.ly  followed by a certain set of characters, for example, “http://bit.ly/2fy38iK. As you can see the link is short enough to be shared on any social media platform instead of something like http://www.amperepost.com/boost-android-phone-battery-life/”.

bitly-short-link

Bitly offers basic analytics of the generated links as you can see in the picture down below.

bitly-links-analytics

Note: bitly and its logo are registered trademarks of Bitly Company

Coming to the limitations, with a free bitly  account, you cannot shorten more than 5,000 links. You can upgrade your account to the enterprise edition which gives some advance features like SMS campaigns, detailed analysis etc for better understanding the user behaviour pattern.

You can even create short links on your own branded domain with bitly enterprise edition, which I think is pretty unique and useful for marketers.

2) goo.gl from Google

goo-gl-home-page

Note: Google and Google’s logo are registered trademarks of Alphabet Inc

This URL shortener is designed by Search Engine Giant Google itself. Using it is very simple. Head over to https://goo.gl. Paste the link that you want to shorten and click on Shorten URL. That’s it, you’re ready to go.

goo-gl-shortened-link

There are some advantages that you have when you use Google’s own URL shortening service over any other. The first is that you do not run into any SEO page rank related problems. Although every major URL shortening service will transfer the page rank to your original link, it is not always guaranteed, so it is good to be in the safe hands.

Now coming on to the disadvantages, one of the major disadvantage of using goo.gl URL shortener is that your link analytics is public. Basically, anyone who has an access to the internet and knows about your link can view the analytics of your link by simply adding “+” or “.info” at the end of that link.

goo-gl-analytics

Note: Google and Google’s logo are registered trademarks of Alphabet Inc

3) is.gd from Shareaholic

is-gd-home-page

is.gd URL shortener is not very much different from bit.ly and goo.gl except the fact that you don’t need any registration to get started. Just Copy, Paste, Generate and Share; that’s all what you basically need to do.

The URL is further customizable as shown in the image below. You can set your preference for lower case characters or lower case pronounceable. Log statistics is optional but available.

is-gd-url-modify

You can even generate a QR code that points to your link.

is-gd-qr-code

Now that we have a clear idea about URL shortening, let’s focus on it’s merits and demerits.

  • Why should you shorten URLS?

Shortened links are short enough to be shared on any microblogging site like Twitter with character limits as they consume less character space. Secondly, they’re more manageable and offer click analytics which can be used statistically and user behaviour can be determined. Also, useful case studies can be done from the click analytics data.

 

 

  • Why should you not shorten URLS?

In this world of internet, companies and services come and go. So if ever a URL shortening service provider decides to go out of business, what will you have?. All those shortened live links that you have had once and were shared on many social media platforms will redirect users nowhere. That situation would truly be a disaster. It is not possible to edit the posted tweets with those “out-of-service” shortened links.

So what do you think about URL shortening, is it necessary or not? Got something to add? Do not hesitate to share that in the comments down below. And Also, do not forget to subscribe to our newsletter to stay in touch with us.

 

 

Posted by Devanshu Mevada

Devanshu is the founder of this blog. He is 18 years old Gujarati boy who currently lives in a small town of Anjar in Kutch District. He loves Android and Windows and can not really resist the idea of experimenting with different things. You can connect with him on Twitter

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