Link Shorteners-Are They All The Same?

I found out that not all link shortners are the same Some will shorten more than others, some will not direct folks back to your site if you go viral..But let’s stop and take a breath. For those of you who may have no idea what I am talking about allow me to explain.

What is a Link Shortener?

A link shortner is  service that allows you to put a loooooong url into it and magically it spits out a short link. They are really cool for Twitter. They are also great for other social networks that only allow you a few characters for your post. For example, suppose you were selling something on Ebay and you wanted to Tweet about it?

The link for that cool vintage record would look something like this:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=300435489490&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT

Now if I put it into a popular shortener like tinyurl.com this is what I will get.

http://tinyurl.com/28p6l33 Wow! It shortened it from 89characters to 26.

Yet, if I put the same link into a shortener called bit.ly I would get this link¬†–http://bit.ly/9o82si which is only 20 characters. Not only is it shorter but this service provides tracking. I can see how many clicks it received plus some other data. (I read where they are nearing close to 2 billion clicks per month)

Both are very popular. Yet, there are others used buy different Twitter applications. And some shorteners produce something called a 302 redirect vs a 301. Don’t panic the only thing you want to be concerned with is that 301 is good (Both bit.ly and tinyurl use it) and 302 is bad.

So get ready to read an awesome article about link shorteners you may have never heard about. But note that this article is a year old. Some of the shorteners may not be in business. But the information in the article is comprehensive and revealing.

But before I link you to that article keep your eyes open for an annoucement from Twitter. THEY ARE LAUNCHING THEIR OWN LINK SHORTENER! It will provide analytics and supposed to be very secure.

Ok, as promised please read this post that compares link shorteners.

3 comments for “Link Shorteners-Are They All The Same?

  1. June 11, 2010 at 8:54 am

    I finally decided to write a comment on your blog. I just wanted to say good job. I really enjoy reading your posts.

  2. June 11, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Thanks for these tips. I didn’t know bit.ly had all those features, so now I can go check the ones I used.

    Also doesn’t it make sense for twitter to get their own URL shortener? After all, it’s THE place where people really need it! Wonder how many new features it will have — or if it just competes with the others. Guess we will find out soon!

    Nancy

  3. June 11, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Another winning article, Rosie. I switched to bit.ly when the other company I used went out of business. It is important to check with the company regularly to make sure they are operational and still in business.

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