What is a URL Shortener?

What is a URL Shortener?


What is a URL shortener?

Well, it’s actually very simple and if you know anything about url shorteners then you probably already know the answer… If you don’t however, there is no need to be embarrassed – we were all newbies once.

A url shortener is an easy way to shorten a url . If you are looking for an url shortener , then you probably already know how to use url shorteners (if that is the case, then sorry for wasting your time).


What’s the point of url shorteners?

The whole point of url shortening is to take a long url and make it shorter. This effectively takes the url spam out of the url and makes it less obvious that we are trying to get readers to another url.

2. Are there different url shorteners?

Yes, yes and YES! There is a whole range of url shortening services on the web and while most do more or less the same thing, some differences exist:

- Some offer more features than others (such as analytic tools)

- Some url shorteners advertise themselves better than others

- A few url shorteners have strangely disappeared… You can find some great url shorteners here: [link] . 3. How long does a url usually need to be shortened for it to count as "short"? Well; It depends on how long your original url is, but for a url shortener to be effective it should have a url of less than twenty five urls. 4. What url shorteners do you recommend using? There are a few url shortening services I use regularly and can vouch for: [list here]… All in all, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of url shorteners out there that we can choose from; Some better than others. Just remember though: A url is only as good as the service behind it!

5. Can url shorteners help with SEO?

Ah yes, the million dollar question – an absolute classic! The answer is YES and NO; People really like to argue one way or another about this subject because frankly speaking: There is no answer.

The simple reason for this is that url shorteners are a form of url forwarding – a very popular SEO tactic – and as such, url shorteners can actually help you rank better in search engines or they can hurt your rankings – it really depends on how much work you put into the service you choose to use.

For example: If I wanted to advertise my url [mypage] , then I would probably use an url shortener with a great advertising campaign (and plenty of links from other pages). In this situation, the url shortener would have gone from being just another url forwarding service to being a full-blown link building campaign. This means that if we want url shortening services to work well with SEO then we need to be smart about what url shortener we choose. My advice is to always go for the url shorteners that offer something unique (like analytics or social media integration), and of course: Always try to get links from other pages pointing back at your url shortener .

7. What are some url shorteners I can use? If you want to get started with url shortening, here are some great starting points: [list of url shorteners]… 8. How do url shorteners work?

Well, this really depends on the service you are using... But in general all url shorteners basically forward the user’s browser through a link that has been created specifically for them; The user will never know that url shorteners exist and that the url they just clicked on is just a link to another url.

9. Is there any way url shorteners can harm my website? From an SEO perspective, url shorteners do not really pose too much of a threat (especially if you choose the right url shortener ); The only real danger with url shorteners comes from spam – both robot and human spam… To avoid falling prey to spam we need to be smart – read our article: "Prevent Google’s Robots from Spamming Your Website" for tips and tricks about how to protect your website against spam (and prevent it from affecting your rankings).

10. What does a url look like when it has been shortened? When a url has been shortened it will look something like this: [link] . It helps you to read a url faster and if you ever need to share a url with someone, shortening it can be a real life saver!

11. How do url shorteners relate to link building? Well, from an SEO perspective url shorteners are very similar to link forwarding services – as such they actually fall into the same category as link building tools! In other words, url shorteners should always be used as part of a link building campaign because that’s how you get results from them… To learn more about effective ways of using url shorteners take a look at our article "Link Building Strategies for Successful SEO Campaigns".


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