Should I Shorten Links?

BML

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 24, 2001
Messages
685
My question is primarily about external links that I have on a wordpress-built page. Some links' URLs are quite long- for example, sharing a Google Map. What is the best way to format them: should I use the full original URL, or shorten the URL using a URL shortener such as tinyURL or Bit.ly (I also have some old ones using Google's own now discontinued shortener Goo.gl), or should I use a Wordpress plugin that will allow me to make a custom URL using my own domain - for example, mydomain.com/map which would re-direct to a specific Google map.

Which is the best way to put links on a page? Will it have an effect on google's ranking of the page?
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2020
Messages
10
you can shorten external URLs in whatever way you want. Just stay consistent with that and use the same tool for everything.

And for sure WP plugin looks best for that. Easy to use, track, and work with.
 

Xsage

Dave
Joined
Jan 8, 2016
Messages
293
From a security perspective I would be very cautious with shortening links especially with services like tiny url. This is because many malicious sites hide malicious payloads using this technique and when you click on the link you never know what your are going to get and where it will direct you to. So much so that many security centric browser addons block any content on a webpage that refers to these domains which could impact the usability of your website for your users.

The best way to "shorten" a link is to change the description in the html tag e.g:

HTML:
 <a href="https://www.w3schools.com">Visit W3Schools</a>
Which when rendered in the browser will look like this:

Visit W3Schools

In the example above, the raw link can be as long as you want, and the only the text "Visit W3Schools" appears to the user, but if they hover over the link they get a full description along the bottom of their browser about where the link will take them.
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Messages
12,284
I agree with Dave. If I hover over a link and see a shortened URL, I will never go there. One never knows the real site destination and whether one can trust the link.
 

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