Don’t be evil with short URLs

Don’t be evil with short URLs

By miriam

People are now using Facebook, Twitter, and other social broadcasting sites to do what they used to do via e-mail and bookmark-sharing services such as Delicious. In these social medias and platforms, link sharing is one of the most popular online hobbies. It's quick and simple, and it's a great method to share thoughts. Sharing a link with all of your friends and followers at once is far more effective than sending it to each one separately. Twitter is well-suited to sending short links, but it is the 140-character limit that has accelerated the usage of URL shorteners more than anything else. These shorten long URLs so that visitors may return to the original.ย 

What are URL shorteners and are they useful?

As you can see also in this article about URL shorteners, there are so many services available. The better ones have stats that can be tracked. Nobody likes them, yet they are an unavoidable evil. How else will you be able to tweet links without the URL taking up half of the message? However, it's possible that it's more difficult than that. Delicious's founder, Joshua Schachter, thinks they're simply nasty. "The worst difficulty is that shortening services introduce yet another layer of indirection to an already rickety system," Schachter argues. To put it another way, they slow down the Internet. He also cites a number of other reasons why they are terrible. They introduce a host of new middlemen into the equation, and these ties become reliant on the companies' continued existence or even the whims of their terms of service. Spammers prefer URL shorteners because they make links opaque. They can add an additional step to an otherwise straightforward statement. Some siphon link juice from the original destination by framing the site rather than redirecting to it. That just breaks up the Web's entire link structure.

So, are URL shorteners beneficial or harmful?

All of this can be solved with ease. Twitter, for example, could simply do a better job of embedding links into their design by allowing users to hyperlink existing words in their tweets instead of wasting space by showing the URL. Alternatively, it may provide a distinct area for links outside of the message (possibly via a "link" button at the bottom of each Tweet). The only reason to leave the URL in the message is for SMS texts, and for them, Twitter could either create its own URL shortening service or buy one of the existing ones. So, are URL shorteners beneficial or harmful? The perfect answer for someone could be "both", but we all know very well that this is just a common thought and that it actually hides many more benefits than criticalities. is more strategic for a whole series of reasons that do not only enter the field of social media, but also in marketing strategies, such as email marketing or affiliate marketing. Link building techniques have always been a great way to increase the fame of a product or service and, of course, the shorter and easier these links are to insert, the faster the transmission will be.
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