Url Shortener, Could It Be A Benefit Or A Drawback?

Bitly King Of Url Shortener ServicesThere are benefits to using Url shortener’s and some draw backs, which I will cover more on. Believe it or not some sites oppose it.

Shorten url disguises the original link and it makes it somewhat difficult for others to determine if the link will redirect you to a good site or a contaminated one.

I must say…. at times I hesitate to open up any shorten link that look foreign to me, unless I am familiar with the person or a site I have dealt with before. Unfortunately, these shorten urls has been abused one to many times.

However, I believe url shortener’s (Uniform Resource Locator) was created with good intention. For instance, web addresses are getting longer,  so we use url shortening and also known as domain alternatives. For example: Here’s the long address url link before being shortened. IE.. https://www.facebook.com/lanikee2success, and this is the shorten url bitly version: http://on.fb.me/wtxaWn .  Another term used for this is called cloaking your links.

The Benefits In Using Shorten Url

This popular social network site Twitter, they use bitly shorten url for most posted links an also it’s helpful to allow more characters to get your message out.

Primarily online network marketer’s use shorten urls to protect their affiliate link from being hijacked by other dishonest online users. What may happen to your promotional affiliate link, is that it gets switched out and you don’t receive credit for your referral promotions, the other person does. So it is best to be alert about situation like this.

Notable Free Url Shortening Services

  • budurl
  • Bitly – commonly used by marketers. The king of the shortener
  • Tinyurl
  • Goo.gl – by Google
  • Pretty Link – A free WordPress plugin
  • Youtu.be
  • wp.me – Used byWordpress.com

and in addition this popular site displays  90+ Url Shortening Services.

Recently, I have noticed that certain sites placed limitation on the use of shorten url and blocked, closure or failed opening certain shorten url link. It may be based on complaints, abuse and the overwhelming spamming on the way these url shorteners, are being used. Filters have been created by online companies to stop the use of specific shorten url’s to be used with affiliate links. See the example below.

Illustration purposes; when I clicked on a bitly affiliate link this is what showed up.

Old Bitly Address Url Shortener

So to avoid this pop-up, I am using this alternative service to avoid my affiliate link(s) from being blocked, and this tool is from WordPress a plugin called Pretty Link, installed on my blog. I haven’t run into any trouble using this Wp plugin tool. No blocks, closure or failure to open redirected links and you’re able to use your links on any other sites. It works for me, without any restrictions so far, which is nice. On top of that you can customize the url how you want it to appear, which is very simple to do. Illustration picture below:

Url Shortener To Cloak Your Links

Url Shorteners With Tracking Purposes

Professional affiliate promoters use url shortening for tracking, sharing and analyzing affiliate links for their business. If you want to stay in the game you have to know where your traffic is coming from and what affiliate links are generating more popularity than others. Use what is working and eliminate what is not.

Expect progression with the use of shorten url’s, because the internet has become a demanding money making machine for online marketers for promoting and referring name brand companies products or services. From airlines to eCommerce stores, and digital and physical products, it’s hard not to miss, there are live links and banners everywhere you surf online.

A Side Note: This peeks my interest…. I am wondering if Google recognizes my blog domain address url name since Pretty link cloaks my affiliate links to my WordPress domain name. If anyone knows this answer, I would appreciate your feedback here.

I hope I gave you some value here, if so…. Please share with others with a Tweet and Like and leave me a comment or a feedback most appreciated.

Mahalo, Lani :)

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Welcome Facebook commentators:

23 Responses to Url Shortener, Could It Be A Benefit Or A Drawback?

  1. Rohini W says:

    Hi Lani
    I am extremely impressed along with your writing abilities and also with the format in your blog. Anyway stay up to the excellent high quality writing, it’s rare to find a nice weblog like this one these days.

  2. Peter says:

    Thanks for the url shortener tip, also you can use the yourls service it has worker well for me.

  3. Pingback: M Hope

  4. Amit Shaw says:

    I never tried url shortner ;) .
    I would like to give a try to it. Thanks for sharing Lani.
    Your all article is very informative and Tutorial type.
    Thanks.
    Amit Shaw recently posted..Bitdefender Total Security 2012 – #1 Ranked Antivirus Software

  5. Excellent article. I use the url shortner feature at Social Oomph and have had no problems – but I am aware of the sites that I frequent that don’t allow any shortened urls so when I’m syndicating I always keep both the long and short urls on hand. This is definitely something to stay on top of. Thanks!
    marquita herald recently posted..If You Long to be Happier, Begin by Defining What that Means to You

  6. Hi Lani,

    You have given some great advice in this post. It is very important to be able to track URL and see if people open them to see if your social media efforts for example are successful or not. You have given a very detailed list of the different options which I am sure many people will appreciate. Take care Rosemary
    Rosemary O’Shaughnessy recently posted..How To Use Facebook For Local Business Marketing?

  7. Clint Butler says:

    Thanks for the information. When I need to shorten a URL I typically use Google URL Shortener. But I will say that I also use the Bitly API for some software and tools. I really enjoyed you going into the Pretty Links plugin. I was always a little curious as to how it worked.
    Clint Butler recently posted..YouTube RSS Feed – How to get it

  8. Hi Lani, I only shorten my link on twitter because of the lack of space. As far as I know, I don’t shorten anything else. When I post a blog, I like my link to show the keywords of what its about. I had no idea some places won’t accept a shortened link.
    Thanks for the info!
    Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted..The 30 Day Expert

  9. Lynda Cromar says:

    I used to use bit.ly but now I use prettylink exclusively. Whats wonderful is that you can store those links on your blog for future use as well, so like you said for all of your affiliate programs you offer you can create that link and use it over and over. I find it hard to get back to bit.ly and find my link for later use. And since the majority of what I do spokes out of the blog it just makes sense to store my links there!
    Lynda Cromar recently posted..I Used To Let Fear Of Failure Keep Me From Succeeding In My Online Network Marketing

  10. Kostas says:

    Hi Lani,
    I use very rarely url shorteners, I prefer to use 301 redirects which is what the plugin you described does, people trust much easier a link with your domain than just a shorten url…
    Kostas recently posted..Ways to Supplement your Social Media Success

  11. Steve Vernon says:

    Hi Lani – I use shortened URLs (I prefer to use Social Oomph for a number of reasons). It’s always possible (or at least should be) to customize your shortened URL, which I do in most cases. That helps reduce the perception by the reader that the link is spam or inappropriate or dangerous. You’ve made some excellent points here. Thanks.

  12. Aloha Lani,

    Wow laulau, I didn’t know some of those sites didn’t take the url shorteners! I guess I mostly use them for twitter because of the 140 character limit.

    Thank you for always educating us on these technical things. I love it!

    Much love,
    Kellie :)
    Kellie Hosaka recently posted..How To Focus To Have A Productive Day

  13. You hit upon one of the big problems, Lani…
    How does one know that the link provided is not going to be tracking one’s actions- or providing that extra-special benefit to your computer (virus or bot)….
    It’s why I always surf the net using a virtual computer, which never saves any settings. It’s the same today as it was yesterday. So, bot, virus, or track- they end up where I started- which is a clean slate.
    Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. recently posted..Infinite storage capacity?

  14. Stacy says:

    Hi Lani,

    I mostly use shorteners for affiliate links for the reasons that you’ve mentioned. I also like the fact that with bit.ly I can track the clicks. I haven’t used Pretty Links in a long time, it’s good to know that we can use that to post links in other places that don’t allow shorteners. I use craigslist and have known for a long time that they won’t allow shorteners.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Stacy
    Stacy recently posted..Don’t Make These (Humorous) Fatal Marketing Errors

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