Tiny URLs

Tiny URLs

URL Shortening

  • Done to make web addresses substantially shorter and still direct to the required page
  • Uses an HTTP Redirect with a short domain name that links to a web page with a long URL
  • Can be accomplished in four ways
    • Use a URL Shortening site to generate short URLs, likehttp://bit.ly/TMQV6Y
    • Use a URL Shortening site that supportscustom short URLS, likehttp://tinyurl.com/sitecorenet
    • Register a short domain name and redirect to the longer domain name, like http://craig.sc
    • Redirect your short domain name to a URL Shortening site and create custom short URLs using your own short domain name
      • This is not recommended because you will not be able to use previously taken short keywords on the URL Shortening site
    • Redirect your short domain name to your own site and create your own redirects so you can use relevant keywords, not just strings that are remaining (not taken) on the URL Shortening site
      • This is tedious but is recommended because it allows you to create fabulously short and relevant URLs for your site pages so mobile users have context for each link in the URL

URL Shortening Uses

  • Used to make long URLs easier to type and manage
    • Short URLs can be more convenient for websites or hard copy publications
  • Useful on social sites that limit the number of characters used in a message
    • Allows long web addresses to be included in a tweet or other social message
  • Useful in emails to avoid having long URLs split across lines
  • Used to track and extend corporate brands and key messages across platforms
  • Used by advertisers and affiliates to disguisetheir underlying domain name

URL Shortening Issues

  • Using URL shortening for disguising domain names is open to abuse
    • Some websites prevent short, redirected URLs from being posted
    • Some URL shortening service providers have been placed on spam blacklists
  • Short URLs can either help or hurt Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    • Most URL shorteners use 301 (permanent) redirects that help SEO
    • Some URL shorteners use 302 (temporary) redirects that hurt SEO

URL Shortening Guidelines

  • Use Domainr to find short domain names
  • Use iwantmyname.comto purchase short domain names
    • Supports most top level domains, not just the top ten (.com, .net, .org)
    • 10% discount when referred by Domainr
    • Automatically generates QR Codes for all URL redirects
  • Use short domain names, such as tic.sc to configure short URLs instead of bit.ly
    • The Inside Corner.Sitecore can be represented by tic.sc
    • Craig.Sitecore can be represented by craig.sc
  • Redirect to your own site and create short relevant redirects for landing pages
  • Alternatively, redirect to a well established and reliable URL Shortening service
    • A service that uses 301 redirects and cangenerate URLs that are human-readable
    • tinyurl.comcan be set toshow a preview before going to a URL
    • bit.lysends analert when a link starts being clicked a lot

URL Shortening Examples