URL Shorteners

We've all taken monsterously long URLs and pasted them into documents, emails and elsewhere. We've also seen shorter URLs - very often used in print material like magazines - that point to odd domain names like bit.ly or tinyurl.com. These shorter links are created by pasting the long URL into one of the many online URL Shortener service providers. Basically, they take your long URL, shorten it into a URL on their site and simply redirect all traffic from the short URL to the long URL you provided.

There are many URL Shorteners in addition to bit.ly and tinyurl.com mentioned above. Google has a list of nearly 150 here: http://bit.ly/1ERiz

Although you might think 150 URL Shorteners is a long list. Apparently the list is not long enough. Google is now getting into the short link game with the upcoming http://goo.gl service. And facebook just started its own mini-link service with http://fb.me

Interestingly, and fortunately, the main providers don't allow you to feed an already shortened URL from another service into their generator. TinyUrl.com and is.gd immediately reject a bit.ly URL, and although bit.ly let's you enter a TinyURL, the resulting mini-mini-link goes to a warning page. All three of these services warns you that their competitor's URL is on their blacklist. Still, it would be fun (at least once) to generate a tinyurl link from an is.gd link from a bit.ly link and watch your browser bounce around the world from all the redirects.

Nevertheless, I think here at Guidelight we'll stick with the slightly longer http://www.guidelightsolutions.com on our business cards, rather than the brief and cryptic http://bit.ly/75P94J.


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