Home > Method, Observations, Software > More on short URLs and are we going to see a new search engine developed by Short URL Redirection Services?

More on short URLs and are we going to see a new search engine developed by Short URL Redirection Services?


I’m still intrigue by this subject and can’t stop coming up with more questions and thoughts even after I wrote in my previous post

I took my blog URL and looked at the results from few URL shortening services.

Origin URL: https://usingit.wordpress.com/

Hare are the result:

http://www.shortesturl.com/?go=e74c2e10f0 – not so useful when you get a longer URL than the original!!
http://tinyurl.com/5j3t8k – most popular
http://www.url.gen.tr/kd – this one is interesting – does it gives you some control over the hash key?
http://snurl.com/2glnl – use by Twhirl
http://is.gd/vX3 – the shortest available today

As you can see the length of the domain name is a key for a short URL. Most services uses around 1-5 characters (A_Z and 0-9) for hashing the long URLs (that should be enough for a while).

Google could use their recently acquired, supper short domain name for shortening URLs: www.g.cn

They are using it for redirecting to the Chinese localized version of their search page. I can only guess that it makes more money than tiny links service.

There is also the shortest domain that I know about: www.com but it does not beat is.gd  – how did they get this domain registered?

If you are looking for information about short domain name look at this very interesting post.

Here is a list of Free Short URL Redirection Services.

Another point: if I’m right then the hyphen (-) is also a valid character in URL names. I’m not sure but I think that the URL cannot start or end with the dash. What is the reason that these services don’t use this extra characters (36 is better than 35)? Is it too complicated because of the start end constraints? Does not worth it? I’m just curious.

Final thoughts: do you think that whatever inside each of these services database is more valuable than what that a crawler can come up with? Think about it:

  • These URLs are picked by humans (lots of them in Twitter and Plurk).
  • They can keep statistics for how many times each URL was requested.
  • They can build a search engine using these links without the need for building a sophisticated crawler for discovering new URLs.
  • They can see what is interlinked inside this tiny linksphere

Am I making a big deal out of a tiny subject:)?

  1. June 27, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    Hey, you have a great blog here!

    I’m definitely going to bookmark you!


    I have this site which is releated to your post
    shorten url
    You can comment also 🙂

    Thans & Regards

  2. July 11, 2008 at 8:19 am

    The shortest and coolest domain for email redirection is i.am for sure and they are online for years… http://www.i.am isn’t it coolest one really?

  3. Keren Dagan
    July 11, 2008 at 8:38 am

    Thanks for pointing this super short url here.
    Do you think too that short url has more to them than their small size?


  4. GP
    July 17, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    New short url service, takeme.to/short-url
    keywords only 1.99, easy to remember

  5. August 28, 2008 at 10:52 am

    i use http://uris.us for blogging

  6. October 22, 2008 at 7:35 am

    Have difficulties with never-ending URLs? Diggurl will solve all your problems

    Visit http://www.diggurl.com to create shortened/redirected URLs to any long URL.

    # Free! No registration required.
    # Manage your shortened URLs.
    # Set temporary download links and protect them with password.
    # Hide your URLs from search engines and bots.
    # Cleaner bookmarks in your web browsers.
    # Continuous URLs in emails.
    # AJAX interface;
    # Bulk URL shortening;
    # Password-protected URLs;
    # Temporary URLs;
    # Custom tags;
    # Custom tags for bulk URLs (automatically assigned tags like tag1, tag2, tag3 and so on);
    # Redirects statistic – referer domain, referer page, visitor’s IP (+ link to geographical information about each visitor), date;
    # URLs and hits statistics can be seen even without registration (IP-based authorization);
    # Registered users: edit/delete URLs;
    # Mass upload URLs from file;
    # Export links to CSV file;

  7. November 24, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    I’ve been using http://zi.ma with great success.

  8. Lovely Me
    November 30, 2008 at 11:38 am

    i like using http://www.4url.net since its ligth and clean.

  9. PK
    December 13, 2008 at 2:27 am

    Interesting fact: during 6 month http://linkslash.com/ engine became industry standart: you can see minimum 2 sites based on it in these comments: zi.ma and (dead – for copyright infrigement) diggurl .com.

  10. January 11, 2009 at 10:03 am

    First of all congratulation for such a great site. I learned a lot reading here today. I will make sure i visit this site more often so i can learn more.

    Make your urls Shorter for Free – Url redirections – Hide your affiliate Urls

  11. March 30, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    You can add http://iamuk.co.uk to your list, it also has stats. There are loads of them though.


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