Ever since the introduction of Twitter, the use of URL shortening services have also been increased steeply. The first ever popular URL shortener, to my knowledge, is TinyURL which is now being depopularised by newer URL shorteners like bit.ly, goo.gl, and t.co.
URL shorteners were formally introduced to handle the 140 character limit in Twitter but it Gradually started entering Facebook and other social networks tools. Another reason for their increasing popularity is because of the analytics provided by these services. Being much impressed by URL shorteners, people have started sharing them wherever they see an input field.
Where not to use a URL shortener and Why?
When someone reads an e-mail which says:
Please check out my blog at: http://goo.gl/XIMd
I’m sure the receiver will have a feeling of “that guy is spamming”. Moreover I found that an e-mail from my friend which had a shortened URL had landed to my Spam folder (in Gmail). Later I asked him to send the same Email with the expanded URL and it landed on my Inbox; Priority inbox, to be precise.
I made a chat with 10 friends of mine and asked them the following:
Hey! Check out my new post – http://bit.ly/amHJ1N
Out of the ten people with whom I made these lines, six of them responded with a lame “why?” message.
Two people gave no response and it was only two who happily read my post!
People carry out internal linking in blogs and websites to increase the time people stay on their website and also to keep the bounce rate as low as possible or they may show some backlink love. When you link shortened URLs, this is what happens:
Nowadays, almost every blog has Akismet or a similar plugin to stop spam. Such plugins filter your messages as spam when you link to Shortened URLs.
URL shorteners were meant to be used only in twitter and maybe any other place where you have some kind of character limit. If I am questioned I’d rather say use URL shorteners only in Twitter and Facebook. Even medicine becomes poison when consumed too much and so is the case with URL shorteners.
Those were some lessons drawn through my experience. I hope you found this post interesting. Share your thoughts by adding your comments!