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What are short URLs?

Short url are aliases to real web pages. There are several sites on the internet that you can use to create a short alias for your site or pages (see resources section for a list and descriptions).

Sites that provide short URLs do not have actual contect on their servers. When someone clicks on a short URL, their browser accesses the redirection site, and the site instructs the browser to go to the destination site instead.

Why are short URLs good?

Short URLs may be easier to remember, and easier to type because they are shorter than the destination URLs.

Some redirection services allow webmasters to select the short URL creating a URL like http://metamark.net/MyCoolWebSite. This may be a good alternative for webmasters who could not get http://www.MyCoolWebSite.com domain and had to use http://www.MyCoolWebSiteThatICouldRegister.com instead.

Short URLs will not get broken into pieces in mail messages, so they are easier to distribute. Sometimes a webmaster wants to distribute a URL that includes their affiliate id, but he wants to mask the fact that the link has an affiliate id, and short URLs allow them to do it.

Why are short URLs bad?

Clicking on a short URL may not always be safe because you can't always tell where this click is goig to take you. You may get to a site with objectionable or adult content, or to a virus site. With a short URL, there is no way for you to know where you will be redirected. There is also no way to know if a short URL is a personal tracking URL.