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Sometimes Shorter is Better

By Merle
Posted Saturday, July 17, 2004

How to take long links and shorten them into more manageable ones.

If you publish an ezine or you promote affiliate programs, you've no doubt come across the problem of website addresses (aka: URL's) that are just way too long for their own good! You know the ones that I'm talking about, as they usually sound like .... "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"...or something along those lines.

Long URL's can be a serious problem for a few reasons.

First, they wrap onto more than one line and if you publish an ezine or run ads with your affiliate link, this just doesn't work. Often, the links won't function at all, if they're chopped in the wrong place, and sometimes it just really ruins the whole look of the ezine, itself.

Also, if you're an affiliate and sell other people's products or services, you'll quickly discover that due to the tracking codes involved, many of the links given to you are ridiculously long and tedious.

Plus, there may be occasions, when you just simply don't want others to know that you're an affiliate, period! That's when the value of a "URL Shortening Service" is just the ticket, to disguise that fact and protect your privacy.

There are many services, now available online, that allow you to just paste in your long URL and instantly get back one that is much shorter and easier to use.

Sound simple? Sure it is. Let's examine a few of these services a little further:

* Tiny URL (

My personal favorite and since I've seen this one being used a lot, I'd have to say it's one of the more popular services online today. Also, it's "Free" to use.

* SnipURL (

Another free service, and this one allows you to even use "Nick-names" in the URL's generated. You can use it without registering, if you choose, but only those who register can gain access to the additional options located on this site, like the ability to search through your "snipped url's" and view how popular some of them are. They'll even tell you precisely the percentage of space that you're saving with the new shorter link, compared to the old longer one.

* Shorl (

Another FREE service, and this one has a very valuable feature tossed in for free as well, "Stats." For each and every short URL you create, you're given a password and a direct link to check back and see exactly how many hits that link actually gets. Pretty cool.

* NotLong (

This free service, also allows the use of a "nick-name," in case you'd like to include some descriptive text in your links. After the shorter link is generated, you're given a password and a direct link to check your stats later on. The password and stats are of course, optional, but it's a nice perk if you want to track hits on that link.

* TinyLink (

Developed by a French Med student, and yes, it's free to use, as well. Just paste your long URL into the form and hit create to see your new shorter link. "Presto-Chango!"

Now remember, shortening URL's can be very helpful in your daily life as an online entrepreneur, but since you're using someone else's outside service, there's no guarantee that the links will last forever. But then again, with the ever-changing face of the Internet these days, what really does?

About the Author
Merle is an internet marketer, promotion consultant and ezine publisher. Visit her sites at (, ( and (


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