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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Short URL's with Tracking

Business Thursday: URL abbreviation services are useful tools to make a long url suitable in many cases. They might be easy to type and look better and even might be necessary because a long url may broke into several parts and become unclickable or to post to microblogging services. Some services do offer advanced features that make these even useful in any case. Depending on the aim this might be earnings by advertising, managing shortened url's, a better look by a generic name and especially statistics to track the number of clicks.

BudURL is a service with a couple of features and url tracking. It is especially designed for tracking and offers a comprehensive statistics suite. There are charts available and the service tracks clicks by locations. The service even factors in possible effects to search engine marketing and has the option to create several generic link names to test click through rates. The service is designed for business usage and future features are announced.

Another service offering statistics and tracking is tweetburner. It has been launched to track Twitter posts. Meanwhile some additions are made to track links posted to friendfeed, too. There is a bookmarklet plugin for browsers to abbreviate and post url's while surfing. Most clicked links are visible at the homepage and an api for developers exists.

There are a couple of other interesting services. bit.ly describe themselves as a simple service to shorten url's, but there is an api to access further features and stats, too. A description of all the features is avaible at the blog. bit.ly is a development by the switchAbit Team, that is developing social networking tools.

Last but not least there is the Snipurl service also available by the domains Snipr and Snurl. This service is available in several languages and offers an account to manage url's. There is also a browser plugin to shorten url's while surfing. A browser plugin is also offered by TinyURL.com, one of the oldest services. A new feature they are offering is a preview of the url where a user becomes redirected to and there is a form to put the service at a website.

There are always new services coming up to shorten url's. As there is really a new generated need related to new applications like social networking it will be interesting to watch upcoming business models.

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