URL shortening services are used by millions of people on daily basis as they a serve very important purposes in areas like social networking and internet marketing.

They are extremely useful in Internet conversations on services like twitter when someone want to share a link. With only 140 characters available to deliver the message a normal link can take up most of the space.

Besides shrinking URLs some of the services provide features that can be more useful than you may think. If you are not aware of the possibilities keep reading.

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What is a URL shortener

A URL shortener is an online application that allows the user to enter a full URL for any specific web page, click on a button, and automatically shortens a long wordy URL to a short domain name and uses a 5 or 6 character code. When users are clicking on that short links they are redirected to the original URLs just as if they had entered or clicked on that.

Where URL Shorteners are useful

First, it’s very useful for micro bloggers, such as Twitter users, who like to share URLs in their posts. However, with a 140-character limit on sites like Twitter, it’s often difficult to include a lengthy URL along with an explanation of why you’re sharing it.   Second, URL shorteners are useful because they can preserve a link to a specific web page even if the URL to that page changes in the future.  Third, some URL shorteners allow you to track the number of clicks your shortened link gets allowing you to analyze the type of traffic you’re generating to your website, blog, etc. from your links on Twitter, Facebook, and so on. This allows you to understand in greater detail where your promotional efforts are having the biggest impact.

This is also certainly true for marketers using social media channels to reach out. shorteners are useful in internet, email and mobile marketing.  In email marketing marketing you may have text wrapping on long URLs in text e-mails and also benefit from tracking clicks. On mobile the little space available simply calls for short URLs. In the area of affiliate marketing the short URLs also have turned out to be handy for hiding the affiliate links that for some people affect trust negatively – for a reason.

List of useful URL Shorteners to try out

1.  http://su.pr/


  • Real time analytics showing how many people click through your links, how many came via StumbleUpon in particular and who the most prolific “reTweeters” have been.
  • Easy publishing to Twitter and Facebook, including the ability to schedule those links and messages to be pushed out at a particular time.
  • “Suggested posting time” metrics, based on historical data concerning when people are most likely to click through your links.
  • A handy bookmarklet that makes submission of links quick and easy.
  • Good to build traffic

2. http://ow.ly/url/shorten-url

What the Ow.ly link shortening offers:

  • Sharing functionality remains the focal point of the Ow.ly social bar. This feature will keep your eyes on prize content and allow you to share easily and frequently.
  • Slimmer and non-obtrusive.
  • Bookmarking of links that you have retweeted.

3. http://bit.ly/


  • Sharing functionality.
  • History Viewer.
  • Advance Tools, side bar bookmarklet, developer tools.
  • Good to build traffic

4. http://is.gd/


  • Shorten web addresses for emails, forum posts, blogs etc. which cannot handle long URLs and might wrap them, making them unclickable
  • Lower the character count when texting web addresses to a mobile phone
  • Hide the real URLs of affiliate links from visitors to your site
  • Obscure your real email address from bots which harvest them to spam.
  • Circumvent protections on sites which don’t allow direct links to a competitor’s site (if you are violating a site’s terms you do so at your own risk)
  • Clean up bookmarks for social bookmarking sites or sites with low character limits like Twitter
  • If you dislike a website and have to mention it (e.g. when complaining about it), link via is.gd so that your link does not help the site’s search engine positioning

5. http://cli.gs/cligs/new


  • Statistics
  • Permanent redirects

6. http://www.adjix.com/WebObjects/Adjix.woa/


  • Earn revenue sharing your links
  • Link data available
  • White Label – Use your own domain name for shortened links

7. http://budurl.com/


  • Shrink any URL into a short BudURL
  • Inbound links redirect with a 307 for maximum SEO performance
  • Organize all of your BudURLs into a single account
  • Add notes to each BudURL to keep track of where you place it (ex: Twitter profile link, LinkedIn comment, Email signature, banner advertisement, etc.)
  • Watch your Click Stream to see real-time click activity including the referrer, IP Address, Network, etc.
  • Create custom BudURL vanity aliases like budurl.com/mylink
  • Edit destination URL
  • Reset click values
  • Delete BudURLs
  • Unique Visits per click
  • Download click traffic
  • See the keywords used to find your BudURL

8. http://tinyurl.com/


  • Browser toolbar
  • Control your alias by providing a custom one
  • URL Redirection
  • Hide Affiliate URLs
  • Preview Feature

9. http://www.snipurl.com/


  • Nip many URLs at once
  • Attach a private key for protection
  • Has an API to create shortened URL’s in your browser.

10. http://blinky.me/



  • Segmentation  functionality with every link shared.
  • Get piles of additional data about the people who click the links.

There are many URL shorteners, but i wanted to keep the review to include my 10 favorites. They all have features that are beneficial and they tend to be user friendly also. I hope you will try some of the services and maybe you will find a favorite.

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Author : Dustin Betonio


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