URL shorteners have been in the picture since a long time. Know about the pros and cons of url shorteners in this article.
There are many URL shorteners available today such as su.pr, ow.ly, bit.ly, tinyurl etc. There has been a long ongoing debate whether these URL shorteners are good or bad for the users.Due to the word limit of 140 featured in Twitter, users were finding it difficult to share webpages and bookmarks with their followers which made them use URL shorteners
On one hand they provide users with a means to share their pages while consuming fewer words on the web and also while sharing using SMS services. This has also made a lot of websites to gain popularity which would have been impossible if the users had to remember their full addresses. Many blogs have utilized this service and have flourished well. A recent research has also proved that these URL shorteners do not harm SEO at all which made bloggers, who were using this service, to relieve their senses.
Whereas on the other hand some URL shorteners such as bit.ly have been banned in many places due to increase in spamming. Many people complain that they have been a prey to malware and spams because of these shorteners. While clicking on the shortened links you do not know to which website this link redirects you and ultimately you fall for a spam or malware. Experts also say that this unnecessary redirecting process further slows down the internet.
These shorteners have also been known to be used in tracking your personal and confidential information over the internet. This is the reason why many social networking websites like Facebook have banned their use.
Another major drawback is that if you link your blog to a URL shortener, it takes the credit of all the hits and traffic on your website, rather than your blog.
So one may say that these URL shorteners saw an era of huge success earlier but as the internet grew, they were being utilized more in a wrong way than for good. As people became more and more technically expert with the internet, they were able to interpret the odds of this service and in recent times, this service has become less popular amongst the masses.
The best way to utilize this service while keeping the evil away would be for the social networking sites such as Twitter to develop a way for the users to share URLs while not consuming the limited words or to give them a separate space to share URLs. These websites may even develop their own URL shorteners which does the job automatically to save people from deceptive malware.