Is URL shortener good or bad for the web?
Pie diagram representing URL shortener users
A URL shortener is a Website that will create a short Uniform Resource Locator (URL) or Web page address from a long one so that the short version, which is easier to remember and enter, can be used instead. The shortened URLs will never expire, and they can be easily shared and distributed in websites, forums, blogs, Instant Messengers, SMS and especially in social media services like Twitter, which allows users to post only 140 characters.
TinyURL, Bit.ly, Snurl, dwarfURL, Tiny.cc are some of the popular sites that offer URL shortening service. The shortened URL offers various advantages including easy management of links, promotion of sharing of site link, compile click data and useful user interface.
Some may think that shortening URLs may affect Google ranking, but in reality, it is not so. The shortened URL can be shared with more audiences easily through SMS, messengers and social media along with a short description of site. Hence a site can be promoted quite easily.
Some URL shortening service providers like Bit.ly offer valuable data like live click data, geographic location, webpage link from where the site link was clicked, and more. The data are used by webmasters to know where customers are coming from and their interest. Apart from this, some providers offer the last 15 URLs created by users in their home page, which automatically mirrors each page and a useful interface for sharing via social media.
It also allows users to customize their shortened URL to make it understandable by users. Your shortened URL can be something like http://tinyurl//html57 or you can customize it to look like http://tinyurl//webworld.
In short, we can say that shortened URLs are a welcome change in the internet world.