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0 Make Your Long URLs to Short using URL Shorteners

URL shortener is a very useful way specifically for links appearance and their ease of access. They even work well where character limit is an issue. These are simply shortened link easy to remember and operate. There are many sites which provide URL shortening service.

While shortened URLS have no bad impact on website's SEO, still very few marketers effectively utilize shortened links. Normally social sites have a 'no follow' tag with their short links but people using Facebook and Twitter (exceptions to this) are most likely to get benefited with these shortened URLs as they will be followed back by search engines and hence adding value to their site's overall rank. 

Till the time these services are used in a legitimate way, they will not harm the site and its rank. From SEO prospectus, one can go for bit.ly, tr.im, short.ie, snurl/snipurl, cli.gs as they have better reviews again with the best tracking options. Searchengineland has an in-depth article on how URL shortening works with full comparison Mega chart and supporting services.

short url

Some of the best services available

Google URL Shortener - Great utility from Google, well, what to say about it. Best in the market and very effective short link creating service from Google.

Get here for Chrome extension and Firefox one. If you are looking for web based service use Goo.gl

Personalizing Google shortening service with your own domain

If you want goo.gl/jP4lr link to appear as with your own domain, follow these steps.

1. You should have a short domain name registered. You can get it on Domainr or purchase through GoDaddy.com or Domain.com

2. Hosting space for the domain. You can use Nginx or Apache and alter vhost configuration. Apache people can easily do this using .htaccess file. For Nginx users, they will need to run VPS or similar to create new vhost configuration.

3. Of course, your own google account to create short links at a first stage.

4. Apache Configuration

Create .htaccess file in root web directory and add following lines. 

RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://goo.gl/$1 [L,R=301]

Note: If you have vhost configuration access, modify there.

This rule takes google link to your own domain using permanent 301 directions.

5. Nginx configuration

You need to create a server block. Create sites-available, sites-enabled pattern from Nginx on Ubuntu and call the new domain.

server {
  server_name crtdby.pt;
  rewrite ^ http://goo.gl$request_uri permanent;

This block will alter the way of an original link to your own domain.

Modify Google Short URL to your own,

Now once all steps were done, all you need is to modify goo.gl url with your own domain.

e.g. http://goo.gl/cM4J4 your new link simply would be chzmbl.cs/cM4J4

That's done!

TinyURL - Many times we have come across TinyURL which looks great to access. Long run TinyURL came in early in the market with possibilities to reduce long link junk on websites. The major issue is they does not do a healthy redirection. Meaning they do not represent original links and cause loss of seo juice. Other similar services with this issue are is.gd, hex.io & eweri therefore not recommended for marketing sites.

Bit.ly - Again a good option for URL shortening with client support withTweetDeck, Twhirl and Twtterfeed. You can also use your own domain for your shortened link see below steps similar to YOURLS. For this, you need to set a DNS Record for Your Short URL to Point to Bitly.

cli.gs - Again supports 301 redirect with Twitterfeed.

Snurl/ Snipurl - Works well with support for 301 redirect and TweetDeck, twhirl and Twitterfeed client support.

YOURLSIt is a free PHP script created  by Lester chan and Ozh Richard. It is easy to install on WordPress, easily customizable links, provides brief statistics, make links public or private and comes with easy bookmarklet.

It also comes with developer API and WordPress Plugin.


Buy a short domain, from Domainr and purchase through their as well as from other as GoDaddy.com or Domain.com. You can also try country code top level domains such as .at, .lv, .ly etc.

As YOURS works on PHP, you should have PHP supported server. Server must support PHP 4.3 and MYSQL 4.1 and above with mod_rewrite enabled.

Download latest version of YOURLS. Unzip content and open it using your own text editor to do some changes.

Find includes/config-sample.php and rename it to includes/config.php

Settings such as YOURLS_DB_USER, YOURLS_DB_PASS, YOURLS_DB_NAMEYOURLS_SITE are need to be modified. Other settings can remain same. 

Create a database - Create a database with the name as in YOURLS_DB_NAME. For web hosting account with cPanel, login and look for "MySQL Database" under Database Section.

Now upload all files in root folder of your hosting account. 
Install the PHP. e.g. http://choozurmobile.com/admin/install.php

If all done well, you will see below message. 

Go to YOURLS login page and create your own short links. It's Easy.

What are those different terms while considering URL shortening service?

Custom (Vanity) URLs -
Some sites do support custom URL. Why is it necessary? If you are using these shortened links on your site (visible to users), you can have customized ending to them. e.g. http://bit.ly/2cmblog which indicates some meaning to link as it is linked to our choozurmobile site.

301 Redirect - In simple language credit must go to the long and original link whereas 302 redirect does exactly reverse which is harmful.

Tracking - If you are getting clicks from your twitter or facebook profile shorted urls, that's where tracking comes from. You can also check them if you use Google Analytics where the links originated from.

So which url shortener service you would like to go for? If you have any suggestions do comment below.
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