What’s the best URL shortener you can use? The answer for many of you was probably goo.gl for quite a long time now, but at the end of March this year Google announced its plans for shutting down their URL shortening service. Those who have never used the service before won’t be able to create new short links starting from April 13, 2018, while existing users can continue to use all features until March 30, 2019. The service will be discontinued on that day, but all the links created will still work.
If you’ve been using Google’s URL shortener, it’s time to think about transitioning to a different service. In this post, we take a look at the five best ones available.
Bitly is one of the most popular and powerful URL shorteners out there. Just paste a link into the text box on Bitly’s home page, click the “Shorten” button, and you’re good to go.
To take things to the next level, you can create a free account that lets you customize your shortened URLs, track click rates, and more. Keep in mind there are a few limitations, as you can only create 500 branded links and 10,000 non-branded links per month. The company also offers paid plans that get rid of these limitations and provide more in-depth reports.
The Ow.ly link shortener is free of charge, but you will need to create a Hootsuite account to use it. The service lets you shorten links, measure traffic, and much more, although it doesn’t have all the features offered by paid plans.
It’s a great tool for people who want to see various reports for the links created, while those who only want to shorten links and don’t care about tracking are better off using one of the alternatives that don’t require an account. Interested in giving Ow.ly a go? Visit the tool’s website via the button below.
This is a simple URL shortener you can use for free — there are no paid plans available. Just visit TinyURL’s website, paste the link into the text box, and the tool will do the rest. All links start with tinyurl.com/, but you can customize what comes after.
The tool has a drawback, which is that it doesn’t have any other features aside from shortening links. That means you can’t do stuff like track links, see reports, or do A/B testing. But it does offer a quick way to shorten URLs of the websites you visit that lets you avoid the whole copy/paste thing. You can add TinyURL to your browser’s toolbar and create a link of the website you’re on by clicking it. Sure, a Chrome extension would be a better option, but this works just as well.
This tool is different than the others mentioned in this post. It lets you shorten URLs and make money with them through advertising — those who click on your shortened links will be shown an ad before getting redirected to a website.
How much money can you make? According to the company, you’ll bring in $4.1 for every 1,000 views if you’re from the US. If you live somewhere else, check out the payout rates here. But of course, looking at ads before being redirected is annoying for users, so this tool isn’t for everyone. You can sign up for the service free of charge via the button below.
The last alternative to Google’s goo.gl is called Is.gd and is super simple. It sticks to the basics, allowing you to quickly shorten a link on the home page without having to sign up for an account. It also lets you customize links, although each has to start with “is.gd/” (example: is.gd/androidauthority).
The great thing about it is that although you don’t need an account, you can still check a basic report that tells you how many people clicked on a link. To do so, all you have to do is add a dash at the end of the link (example: is.gd/androidauthority-) and click “I want to see statistics for this URL.”
There you have it, folks. These are the top five alternatives to Google’s URL shortener, although there are plenty of other great options out there to choose from. If you think we’ve missed any major ones, do let us know by posting a comment down below.