May 22nd, 2012 / Online Marketing

Is Your URL Shortener Dead?

Do you know how many URL shorteners have died since the big boom? More 600. In fact, a total of 626 URL shorteners are no longer active, about 61% of the services that have been started in the last decade.

This is according to yi.tl a new URL shortening service.

It’s no wonder that many of these URL shorteners are no longer alive. I expect more to fall by the wayside in the next couple of years. A look at the URL shorteners that are still active reveals some names that I’ve never heard of and that likely don’t have a chance to survive. Of the 395 active URL shorteners yi.tl points to, here are a few of the obscure names still fighting it out in the trenches.

  • 10.rs
  • cli.gs
  • fun.to
  • just.as
  • LinkZip
  • mo.by
  • ptl.me
  • scr.im
  • TheCow
  • unfake.it
  • x.co

The problem with dead URL shortener services is that when your site visitors click on URLs from these services, they will go nowhere. It’s a dead link. Then you have to go back and replace all those dead URLs with real URLs. You either have to use the real URL the short URL represents or use another URL shortener service.

It’s better just to find a good URL shortener service right from the beginning. If you do that, then you’ll never have to worry about dead URLs.

So how do you find a reputable URL shortener service?

I would use one that has been around for a long time like TinyUrl or one that is ubiquitous and highly recommended such as Bit.ly, which is one of the few URL shortner services acceptable to Twitter. Or, you can use one that is owned and operated by another company that is not likely to fail. Both Google and Amazon have URL shortener services – but keep in mind that Google doesn’t have a good track record outside of their core business. And Amazon’s URL shortener service is good only for pages on Amazon’s website.

What I would not do is use an URL shortener service that is a new startup. Like yi.tl, for instance.

Remember, your business is too important to leave to chance. So is your business’s Internet marketing.

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