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URL Shorteners - Are You At Risk?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by roberteb, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. roberteb

    roberteb Regular Member

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    I've been using URL shorteners for a long time now bitly and the like but have started to become a little nervous about using them because:

    1) Many of us have hundreds maybe thousands of shortened URL's in use because of Twitter and the other Micro Blogging platforms.
    2) These 301 redirects are important to us and in many cases pass not only the link but authority as well.
    3) We use them without thinking they are automatic.

    But what would happen if they all dissapeared over night? All the links some of which may be earning us money would vanish. Scary thought and don't think it can't happen because it already has with one that went bust (I can't remember the name).

    Even if they don't go bust they could at any time delete your account for any reason at all it's their site after all.

    So I've decided to remove the risk by setting up my own self hosted URL shortener and I've started with YOURLS. It's more than cabable of dealing with my requirements and so far it's worked really well.

    The important thing is it's mine. No one can delete my account and any shortened URL I drop from now on will stay for as long as I can afford the hosting.

    Just something to bear in mind.
     
  2. fatboy

    fatboy Elite Member

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    Thats something I have been saying for a long time and have been building my own for a very long time. The latest incarnation gives me stats, the possibility of pausing and restarting links as well as deleting them.

    Couple that with the doubts whether or not:

    - Will the site be up tomorrow
    - Are the people running the sites fiddling with your links
    - Are people hunting down your traffic sources from behind the scenes.

    Now you have started doing your own you will feel happier and know you can depend on yourself!

    Must admit, at the moment I have left my beta site open to the public, but already had complaints so will be deleting the public part and keeping it all behind locked doors just for me :)

    Hope it all goes well for you !
     
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  3. roberteb

    roberteb Regular Member

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    Good point about the fiddling with links and reverse engineering your network I hadn't thought of that!
     
  4. Razorbl

    Razorbl Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    don't use url shortener , they are not reliable , better buy info domain and forward it
     
  5. roberteb

    roberteb Regular Member

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    True but if I have a large list of URL's I want to get indexed (2nd tier sites) I'm not going to buy domains for forwarding to expensive and harder to manage. As to not being reliable I disagree if you have a self hosted URL shortener (mine is private) and a decent host it works very well.
     
  6. CyberDilemma

    CyberDilemma Regular Member

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    I always wondered if some of those short URL services hijacked some of your traffic.

    There's another short URL script called Shorty - it's a free MySQL + PHP scripts that you may either set on sub-domain or a sub-directory under your main website. Just google it for a free download.
     
  7. roberteb

    roberteb Regular Member

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    I've looked at a few but settled on YOURL because of it's nice Ajax admin panel and the fact the author updates the software on a regular basis.
     
  8. Nerevar

    Nerevar Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  9. roberteb

    roberteb Regular Member

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    Yes that's the one I'm using and have been taking about