URL shorteners are short Web addresses that redirect to the longer, full URL.
- URL stands for Universal Resource Locator – or the website address
- Example – Look above in the address bar to see the full web address of this page:
Long URL: http://www.google-goo.com/google-url-shortener
Shortened URL: http://goo.gl/QzxHHR
In most cases (specially goo.gl) visiting a short URL is virtually seamless for the end user. They click on a link, and they get redirected to their intended destination. The most common place to see shortnened URLs is in Twitter where character limits make it difficult to list the full address to websites.
Shortened URL Uses
The two most popular uses for short URL’s are:
- Use in emails – sometimes when you try and send a long URL in an email, the software chops the email off after a certain number of characters and creates a new line which breaks the URL. By sending a short URL it 100% guarantees the link will not be broken.
- Twitter – twitter only allows 140 characters per post, so if you want to include a long URL, then a shortened URL is a clever work round.
- Chrome has a fantastic simple plugin that adds a nice little green icon to the right of the URL and immediately shortens it.
- Firefox has a simple plugin as well.
OK, lets get started with a proper explanation.. the shortener service comes in two distinct flavours:
- goo.gl – shorten, share and ‘track’ your shortened URLs with a Google Account.
- goo - shorten and share your shortened URLs.
goo.gl allows you to track, in real-time, the clicks and referrers on any shortened URL.
A perfect tool to help you understand what appeals to your audience and to help you optimize your social, email, and other click-through campaigns.
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