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Any good URL shortening service besides bitly?

     
1:21 am on Jun 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hi so it seems bitly keeps going down many times. It's a good service but is there any other link shortening service which is as good as bitly and more reliable? Thanks!
4:36 am on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Been on the web since 1996 ... never understood this shortening stuff ... why does it exist? Who does the work? Who benefits? And please tell me who gets the bucks for doing it?

Note: I personally never click on one of those things...

Serious question. Ready for any raspberries if I missed the memo...
8:23 am on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google have their own service here [goo.gl...]

I don't use it myself so I can't vouch for its reliability though.
10:00 am on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I've never had problems with bitly, but then, any one of them can go down at any time. Some have closed for new urls.

Why use them? It's pretty straightforward, it make extremely long urls much easier to use. Some get broken as they can be too long.
If you have doubts over a bitly link you're sent, it's easy to inspect it by adding a + symbol to the end of the url in your browser and you get to see a preview of the link.
Try this link by copying it into your browser (note the + symbol i've added at the end for the preview) https://bit.ly/2IOZiSK+

Some of the others i've used include
TinyUrl
Adfly
Owly

Note, i'm not vouching for any of them.
10:07 am on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Been on the web since 1996 ... never understood this shortening stuff ... why does it exist? Who does the work? Who benefits? And please tell me who gets the bucks for doing it?


Shorter URLs are great because :

- it's easier and faster to remember and type a short URL,... stuffed with letters and numbers,
- it's more fun, because from the URL you cannot guess what you'll find out,
- it looks Geek,
- it saves characters for Tweets,
- etc...

however,

- who remember and types URLs :)
- hiding the destination URLs always has a reason which is "bad" in 90% of case :)
- since grand ma is a Geek, it's has been being Geek :)
- Twitter no longer counts the characters in the URLs as part of the tweets :)

but

- eventually it can help track clicks, if someone has nothing else to do so,
- it might help when used in emails/text messages, because of line breaks,
12:12 pm on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I sometimes make my own redirects to create shorter URLs but keep my own branding.

Something like this:

example.com/word1-word2

That's not as compact as bit.ly and its ilk but it's short enough for most purposes.

Most important, it keeps my own name in circulation and builds my own brand, not someone else's.

If the destination URL ever needs to be updated I can do it from my end and the links out there remain valid.
1:38 pm on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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>I sometimes make my own redirects to create shorter URLs but keep my own branding.

Great tip, thanks.

That's part of the problem with using a link shortener in that it loses all branding.
5:48 pm on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Why are the URLs visible in the first place? It's as if your site were littered with
more information available at http://example.com/directory/12345/subdir/abcde.php?this=1&that=2&other=3&extras=insanely-long-complicated-string
when it ought to be saying
more information available at <a href = "http://example.com/directory/12345/subdir/abcde.php?this=1&that=2&other=3&extras=insanely-long-complicated-string">this great page</a>

The rare people who want to see the actual URL ... want to see the actual URL, not a pseudonym. Would you click on a link in email if it began with "bit.ly" ?
10:00 pm on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Why are the URLs visible in the first place?


In an online context where the URL would be clicked, it could be insanely long but given graceful anchor text exactly as you describe.

In other contexts, a smart short URL would often work better. Examples:

Print - press release, magazine ad, billboard, T-shirt, on a product label, in a book, etc.
Spoken - phone, radio, podcast, etc..

True story: a client introduced a new product. We created a redirect URL "example.com/16" which led to the main info page for the product. The short URL was easy for sales reps to share during phone calls.
10:45 pm on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I think your method of an internal redirect* makes a lot more sense than a third-party service. It's one less step for the user's browser (which otherwise has to make two DNS lookups followed by requests to two different sites) and it keeps your site name at the forefront of the userís mind. You donít want people going to bitly in search of your product :)


* That is, ahem, if you want to be hair-splittingly technical: an external redirect to another URL on the same site.
3:25 am on June 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Call me dense, etc ... but why wasn't the original URL SHORT ENOUGH in the first place? Too busy stuffing keywords so the URL is longer than the article?

These "short" things are obfuscation of the worst sort, developed for a "service" that counted every letter (which now no longer applies).

Pretty sure I'm not the only one who won't click on one of these "geek" links.
9:02 am on June 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

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you could implement your own url shortener on your own branded domain and have it all.

think:
nyti.ms
wpo.st
pojonews.co
pep.si
virg.in
tcrn.ch
mapq.st
mzl.la
re.pn
8:51 pm on June 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I suppose one COULD do that, but again, why? After all, these are simple "urls", regardless of how redirected... and each has to be unique for it to work properly.

Or ... does creating makework redundancy have a value I have missed?
9:02 pm on June 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

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yes
9:59 pm on June 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Okay ... what?
11:07 pm on June 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

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there are at least four or five posts in this thread that have answers to your question.
11:39 pm on June 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The question I havenít seen answered is: what is the advantage to using a third-part service instead of shortening the URL internally using your own rules?
12:13 am on June 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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>>what is the advantage to using a third-part service instead of shortening the URL internally using your own rules?

good question lucy24 ...

absolutely none!
using a third party is yet again another way of giving away valuable data ... some people never learn!
2:36 am on June 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I rest my case. (Note: the other posts were chatter, not explanations on WHY someone SHOULD do this).
2:39 am on June 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Secondary, if it WAS a good thing to do, we'd all be doing it. Primarily invented for twitter and the days of 140 characters ... that no longer applies. So, if there a really VALID reason to play with url shorteners? My question remains serious, looking for serious answers.
7:55 am on June 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Note: the other posts were chatter, not explanations on WHY someone SHOULD do this).


Tangor, it surprises me that you don't see any value in my little story about how a shortened URL worked better for sharing on the phone than the "real" URL would have.

example.com/16 - (internal redirect to a longer URL)

Easier and faster for the rep to say, and the other party to type. On my planet either one of those would be a pretty good "WHY".

Primarily invented for twitter and the days of 140 characters


The use of redirects to create shorter or prettier URLs was around long before Twitter. Third-party services scaled up the idea but they didn't invent it.
8:06 am on June 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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True, buckworks, and come to think of it, I was using my own shortened urls way back.
For example; example.com/promomessage

I'd forgotten I was doing this way back.

You can still see ads on tv promoting this type of thing: example.com/tvJune
3:55 pm on June 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Not talking about a redirect to a shorter internal ... I'm talking about the original OP and shortening services. That and the logic of having proper urls in the first place.
4:48 pm on June 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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IIRC the OP had been using shortened links for tracking purposes on SMM (hence the post in the Social Media Marketing forum rather than say, Webmaster General. I could be wrong, but that seems to be what comes up as the connection here. It would be nice if the OP occasionally helped others to sort things out here so topics don't drift too far from their intent.
5:32 pm on June 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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That and the logic of having proper urls in the first place.


Please say more about that. What's a "proper" URL in your view?
12:16 am on June 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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One that makes sense and is not used as a keyword stuffer or SEO tactic.

Best? Has only one "/" after the domain name. Second best? domain/cat/page

YMMV
1:06 am on June 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Meanwhile ... for those that do MSM (think tv/radio) ...

domain/promo1 ... which is internally rewritten to display an absurd url such as domain/cat/keyword/granualar/keyword2/page is perfectly fine. And makes sense if offering promo1 in July and promo2 in August to help determine ad reach.
1:08 am on June 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Meant to add ... no third party is required to do this kind of "shortening" ... and one does not give up any of their tracking. What I mean to say is I don't get why anyone would let a third party do their "shortening" in the first place.
10:33 pm on June 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Last thought ... if for twitter ...

example.com/shortname

Keeps your domain name intact, ie, not lost in some kind of geeky link. ALWAYS do your presence! Else you give up one of the methods of building a brand.
11:03 pm on June 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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buckworks, in case you havenít fully appreciated it: We all all absolutely bowled over and dazzled by the brilliance of example.com/16. Iím just trying not to make it into a party game: How many flavors do we carry? What can you buy now that youíre a licensed driver? What do we recommend for a cat who is 80 in cat years? Where can I find good 4-bit clip art?
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