How and why to shorten links?

Updated at: 2022-11-28.

A compact, visually appealing compressed link is an integral part of an advertising campaign for any project on the Internet. The short address of the link is well remembered, besides it is convenient to share it with other users. Using a compressed URL, you can track statistics, including analyzing the flow of visitors.

What is a shortened link and how to get it?

A shortened link is a short URL to a web resource, the average size of such a link is about 20 characters (including https://). In order to shorten the link, special online services are used.

How to shorten a link?

The principle of shortening such links is as follows: a long link is processed by the service, at the beginning it adds it to its database, and then assigns it a special key, that is, a new address. This short address is passed to the user for further use. Short links are more convenient to use for various purposes. For example, user requests for short community addresses, short links to a YouTube channel, aliexpress, whatsapp and other popular services and sites are popular. To shorten links, special services are used, for example,

Where to shorten the link?

You can shorten the link using special services that work on the Internet. Most of these services are free, but there are also paid counterparts. To get the result, that is, a short link, you just need to enter your long URL in the proposed line. Separate url shortening resources offer additional statistics with different parameters.

Why shorten links?

A long URL address is, firstly, inconvenient and ugly, and secondly, it is also problematic. Most users have to shorten links for many reasons:

  • When you need to often send the link itself to other users through various methods, including social networks, verbally, sms.
  • When it is necessary to hide the affiliate ID, this is if you participate in referral programs of various kinds.
  • To improve the visual perception of the link.

Link shortening services are driven by several major factors that Internet users encounter.

To save space.

For example, there are times when services limit the space for entering characters. Therefore, if you cut the link, you will save a lot of used space. This is especially true for Twitter.

To prevent link distortion.

This is especially true for marketers who add tags to links. As a result, the urls are very long. When copying long links, errors often occur, for example, it is not possible to completely copy the data. As a result, the link is cut off and not working. Therefore, if you prematurely shorten the link, this problem is excluded.

For the perception of reference by ear.

There are situations when it is necessary to read the link aloud. If it is long, then it seems unrealistic. If the link is as short as possible, then, accordingly, it is readable for users.

For keeping statistics.

Not all services provide this feature, but it is a very handy feature for viewing the statistics of your links.

To manipulate visitors.

Fraudsters often use these services to hide malicious sites in short links. Therefore, such links must be filtered and, in some cases, special services should be used to decrypt short links. Therefore, if you received a short link in suspicious mailings, it is better to decrypt it.

How to compress a link to a site?

Link shortening services work on the principle of redirection. As a result of this process, links are assigned a unique key. It should be noted that the process of link shortening lasts only a few fractions of a second, so you get the result almost instantly.

But in some cases errors occur. For example, there are times when a shortened link does not work. What could be the reason?

  • Error in the service used;
  • There was a mistake in the entered link;
  • Link shortening service stopped working;
  • Problems with the antivirus used on your PC (very rare).

In these cases, you can use another service or change the antivirus.

There are 2 main problems with link shortening:

  1. The link may become inoperable due to the closure of the service, this problem, unfortunately, cannot be solved.
  2. Some sites block the transmission of shortened links for various reasons.

The most famous blocking of shortened links:

  1. Tiny URL blocked in Saudi Arabia;
  2. MySpace has banned the use of Tiny URL embedding;
  3. All such services have been added to the Wikimedia Foundation's global spam list.

What are "dead links"?

These are not working shortened links. Most often they become so as a result of the closure of services. So Google closed its service (the links it created remained active) and instead offered Firebase Dynamic Links. After this incident, the 301 Works project was opened in 2009. It is responsible for maintaining the functionality of the links after the service is closed. Initially, it included 20 services, today the figure is much larger.

Do not worry about how to reduce the link address, there are many special services for this, which we will consider in our next article on the blog. Also, in turn, we can recommend the service for quick link compression and statistics tracking.