Best URL Shortener Websites and Link Shorten Apps

Best URL Shortener Websites and Link Shorten Apps


Shortening (or shortening service) is the practice of using a more concise numerical representation of a URL in place of the full web address. The fundamental purpose of short URLs is to reduce the number of characters necessary to express a web address, making it faster and easier to type, remember, and communicate.


Shortened links are commonly used on ad-hoc content networks such as Twitter and other microblogging services , private chat systems like Telegram, QR Codes , mobile phone contacts lists, text messages , print media advertising or search engine results pages . Some URL shortening services offer tracking statistics for each shortened URL.


Shortened links are also sometimes used by an online community for events that take place in physical space where participants link to a page containing the final location and other relevant details.


Shortened links to downloadable files, such as those for Adobe Flash objects or Microsoft Office documents , usually use a special file extension . For example, a short URL to a SWF file might be "codice_1". Such links are sometimes used in information technology to link directly into configuration screens where manipulating the actual link itself would affect performance or cause other problems. Some shortened links point to web pages with advertisements displayed above the primary site content, also known as Advertlets. In this way advertisers can track how many people click on their URLs.


In December 2009 Facebook launched an experimental service allowing users to choose a custom Short URL their page profiles could be reached by, along with one for people to use when linking to the user's profile.


None of this article should be copied verbatim; it is all referenced from external sources (see list at bottom). Original concept was provided by The Best Way To Shorten URLs .


The ideal URL structure (in terms of search engine optimization) is short, relevant and memorable.


There are many different ways to make a shortened URL. Most of these services provide a web interface, where the user can select a desired target website for their link. The main purpose of URL shortening is convenience in sharing specific links on social media platforms or by text messages . A lot of services provide this service for free.


Search engine optimization is a factor when choosing a URL shortener. Google does not use shortened URLs for their search results. Instead, they give preference to full-length URLs that have descriptive anchor text. In order to maintain the SEO value of the full length link, it is important to choose a URL shortening service that will not automatically add a no-follow tag to the shortened versions of the URL.


For example, if a news web site uses TinyURL to shrink their URLs for use in Twitter, it will add rel="nofollow" to the shortened links automatically, decreasing its value as a source of backlinks. The same site could instead make use of, which provides custom analytics reports that allow the owner to see how many people visit their shortened links.


URL shortening can be used for malicious purposes. Shortened links pointing to nefarious content are commonly posted on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and others. Also, links to malware downloads or illegal material (e.g., copyrighted movies or pirated software) are often shortened. Sites that provide the service of URL shortening are aware of these dangers, and use several techniques to prevent them.


Large-scale link scanning is done with web crawlers to identify potentially harmful links or ones pointing to illegal material. These links are reported to the respective websites, who then disable them. Some services use a captcha mechanism to block automatically generated shortened URLs and thus prevent abuse.


Using URL shortening for data transfer is not without its disadvantages. For example, the original website may change, resulting in broken links. Another issue is that some search engines do not recognize tinyURLs as proper urls, meaning they will not count the link towards the page rank.


There are several security issues related to shortened URLs, including phishing attacks and Denial-of-service attacks. A Denial-of-service attack is an attempt to make a machine or network resource unavailable for users. One way to cause a DoS attack is by creating URL redirects to point to a specific target. For example, if someone guesses the URL (address) of a web server and creates a redirect from that address to another website (e.g.,, then users arriving at that incorrect IP address will be redirected to, which is under the attacker's control. As a result, when users try to access they will be confronted with an incorrect website with the look and feel of their bank's site. Visiting the page may make them think that they are logging in to their legitimate bank account; but in reality, they are still on the attacker's site, which could lead to theft of their login credentials.

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