There are hell lots of URL shorteners available online but if you are active on Twitter or Friendfeed, you get to see only TinyURL links most of the times. This is not because TinyURL is the best URL Shortener, but it is because it was one of the first URL shortening services and people are not just aware of better alternatives to TinyURL.
Unlike TinyURL, these services which I will be discussing below are much more than a normal URL shortening service. They can be used for statistical purposes and can be used to track and analyze the links in a much better way.
Top 5 URL Shortening services which provide Statistical data
Tr.im tracks the total clicks of the shortened and shared URL, the browser agents information, location of the visitors, referring websites and many more stats. It also gives the graphical representation of these stats. It has 3 different bookmarklets –
1. Sends you to their site to shorten and/or tweet the URL
2. Opens their site in a new window to shorten and/or tweet the url
3. Shortens the URL and then sends you to Twitter’s site to tweet the URL.
This is a great service for people who use twitter and like to usually share links in twitter.
bit.ly is my next favorite URL shortening service. I actually use it more than tr.im, since my favorite twitter client, iTweet.net provides bit.ly as the inbuilt URL shortener. It is very similar to tr.im, but the stats are aggregated. The bookmarklets are simple to use.
With cli.gs, you get the “deep real-time analytics” which includes the geographical location of the visitor, the time, and other stats. Having an account in cli.gs is mandatory since the stats are private. Interesting thing is, it can HTTP 301 redirect to your URL (hence SEO friendly). It also has geo-targeting and differentiating between humans and bots which is truly unique and great.
With BudURL, you can manage all your links in one easy interface with custom notes to keep track of your placement, instant click stats and more. You can create multiple BudURLs that point to the same destination so that you can tell which source generated the best ROI, view the referrers, click charts and more.
A URL shortener with stats, batch processing of URLs and a list of interesting URLs with easy sharing options on most popular bookmarking and social sites. The stats are nothing great, but management of URLs is quite robust and easy.
Image Credits: Network Solutions