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With so many URL shortening services out there, this was bound to happen to at least one of them: Trim is shutting down. According to a blog post by parent company Nambu Networks, it was an expensive and fruitless effort.
"We simply cannot find a way to justify continuing to work on it, or pay its network costs, which are not inconsequential," the post read.
Those expenses may have been particularly encumbering recently when Trim was hit by a denial-of-service attack last week that knocked it offline.
Where does that leave us with any URL shortener service?
This is a terrible catch-22. I've thought about doing one in-house for my own sites' use, but you're getting yourself into the same problem, committing yourself to provide a service in perpetuity. If it's only to your own sites you're pointing to, that may be of less consequence, but the committment is still there. Then there is also the general trust factor, one might click on a link from tinuyrl.com before they'd click on [myurlshorteningservice].whatever.
What we need is a global, central url shortening scheme, in the same way domain names work...
Now, all I *really* need to get my system to display the article is something like:
but the rest is for SEO and News Bots. Also, Google News requires the full date and time to be in the url as well.
So, there are usually good reasons for urls to be long.
The only reason I can think of is offline ads to get to a certain page but online I hate doing redirects because of how search engines get messed up dealing with redirects in all shapes and forms.
I know that quit a few people use URL shortening services in emails but I find too much spam to even respond.
What is the main reason to use these services?
"tr.im" - # of Google Results 4,330,000
"bit.ly" - # of Google Results 38,100,000
"tr.im" - # of Yahoo Results 7,670,000
"bit.ly" - # of Yahoo Results 80,700,000
tr.im - # 2,280 with 844,826 U.S. visitors per month
bit.ly - # 349 with 4,207,152 U.S. visitors per month
It may be a good business decision if one of the wireless providers snatched up one of these guys, then made a good mobile app that everyone would use, then we may truly see the short URL's monetized in a way in which we all should shift our logic.
There shouldn't even BE a URL shortening service. People should have short URL's to begin with instead of http://www.example.com/categories/websites/shortening/url/hot_to_shorten_your_url_by_either_going_to pointless_websites_or_by_just_having_shorter_paths_that_dont_need_to_be_so_long.html
Exactly. Find one of those as a referrer, and it's a pain to type in if you can't happen to cut and paste. People who work at the command line despise them.
Additionally, if a page won't show up well without the really-long-file-name then the rest of the optimisation plan is not that great. abcd.htm can do well in very competitive searches, and there is no reason it shouldn't.
Finally, anyone who trusts a shortened url without knowing what lies beyond it is just asking to be had.
In short, long file names *scream* desperately seo'd to death, and shortened url's scream malware.
I don't care how good your URLs is, when push comes to bit.ly/00000 wins over mysite.com/200908101201 when space is the criteria, not SEO.
For those with tinyurlphobia, you can always preview the URL or use a tool like PowerTwitter which previews it for you.
However, the concept that "example.com/iowa-corn-harvest-up-82-percent.html" is any safer than "bit.ly/00000" is quite silly because black hat spamming hackers just love injecting those long SEO paths into sites.
Bottom line: Bad design of twitter. URLs can be longer than 160 chars on their own.
Using these short URL services:
- availability: obviously is a problem. If the service folds you've now got millions of broken links out there. But even if they get hit with an outage or a DoS, the impact is way too large.
- confidentiality: Why are those offering this service doing it at all ?
What's to guarantee us that visitor's and site owners privacy isn't violated by these companies ? They're spending money and aparently gain nothing. Falls under the there's no such thing as a free lunch rule and hence there might be trouble.
- integrity: Where are the guarantees that a short URL continues to point where it should point ? You might just have promoted your competitor if they make a deal to send the traffic elsewhere. Als o a hacker getting hold of such a company would ahve a fiedlday sending all the traffic to exploit.
So my bottom line: I'll not use it thanks.
If I need it, I'll do a redirect myself.
For those that forgot the original reason behind tinyurl it was for broken links in emails.
Maybe there's those of us who don't get why a modern computer service like twitter needs to have an arbitrary 160 char limit that includes any URL.
Then maybe those of you should read the SMS specs per phone service provider and start causing trouble at the source of the problem, your phone service, and stop picking on products like Twitter that attempt to bind all those disparate services together.
Attack the individual SMS services limited to insanely short messages, they are the problem, not twitter.
Then maybe those of you should read the SMS specs per phone service provider
Quick aside - apparently the reason for the 160 character limit is that it's what can fit within the status message that each phone sends to the nearest tower automatically. So the phone companies charge for allowing you to piggyback your 160 characters on an automatic status message that costs them nothing to send and they'd have to send anyhow. What a business! :)
Another reasonable use of url shorteners is to make an url easier to type in from a printed page.
Quick aside - apparently the reason for the 160 character limit
Sometimes long URLs would break if the email or newsgroup reader broke URL into 2 lines. For that purpose, they work very well.
Over the years, people have found all sorts of other uses for shortened links (masking affiliate links, making easier to remember links with the "custom alias" options that URL shorteners have now, making links shorter for newer services like Twitter, etc)
As to how they make money. I would guess that advertising on the homepage of the URL shortening site would be a big part of it.
My main use of tinyurl was posting news links from two specific sites (my sites) in twitter. I have now moved to using my own "short links", not really a "shortened url" with separate database 1-to-1 conversion, but just another, shorter, url scheme my site can recognize. I also got a shorter domain name just for this purpose that does not make me (perhaps, hopefully) lose my brand recognition.
So, now, a full url of mine which could look like this:
can now be represented something like this when I tweet it:
and that automagically 301 redirects to the full url.
Since it's not a separate service, just another representation of the data in my database, these urls live as long as my site does, with no further maintenance overhead and/or long-term responsibility.
Thanks, guys, and WebmasterWorld, for inspiring me to implement this change.