Saturday, November 8, 2008

URL Shortening

Ease Typing Web Addresses with URL Shortening by Lina Smith

There are a variety of free URL shortening services available and are becoming rather popular on the internet. Sites like TinyURL.com, SnipURL.com, MakeAShorterLink.com, and Shorl.com can take a long URL and convert it to a much shorter one. These tools are useful, especially when trying to e-mail a long URL that is likely to wrap in the e-mail. When a recipient receives a longer than normal URL in an email and tries to click on it, because of the wraparound, the partial URL is likely to result in an error message. A quick, free visit to any of the above mentioned sites will create shorter URLs so they do not wrap in an email message. URLs that break in emails cause the recipient to have to cut and paste it back together. This is extra work that your possibly new customer may find to be too much of an effort on their part and quickly lose interest. By entering in a URL in the text provided on these sites, a shorter URL is created that will not break in email postings and never expire.

One problem with URLs shortening or redirection services is that they mask the actual domain name of the site containing the information content. That domain name can be very useful in determining the origin of the information, the reliability of it, and even whether or not to actually click on it. If done correctly, however, this problem should be a rather easy one to get past.

There are ways to shorten URLs that will not mask the domain name or require the services of a URL redirection service. Often, but not always, the beginning www. of a URL can be left off. And as long as it remains recognizable, the http:// portion can almost always be left behind. Bear in mind, however, that these shortcuts not always work. Leaving off the www. may or may not get you to the same page. It all depends on what the domain website decides to do with their name for the purpose of getting more traffic.

Sometimes the problem isn't even the length of your domain address but you may simply not want to post it because it might give away that it's an affiliate link. If that's the case, most shortening URL websites allow you and your affiliate link to remain hidden from visitors.

The features that some of these URL shortening sites include are not just specialized in creating short links. They can also allow you to create a personalized sub-domain on the short URL you want to create. They can anonymize URLs, password-protect your short URLs, allow you to add certain tags to URLs, and protect links of files hosted on some free file hosting websites. Additionally, most URL shortening services will allow you to also view the statistics of your URL views. Last but not least, the good news about the shortening URL websites is that they are compatible with most web browsers and platforms as long as your bookmarks or favorites allow Javascript.



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1 comment:

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