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Understanding Redirect Links for a URL Shortener

Understanding Redirect Links for a URL Shortener

If you’re considering a URL shortener service to convert your longer promotional links to shorter URLs, it’s good to become familiar with the term “302 redirect.” While 301 redirects are the most commonly recommended redirect links, they are permanent and are often used to redirect a page within the same website or to forward pages when redesigning a website to ensure no traffic is lost.

With third party URLs shorteners, however, 302 redirects are often the best choice. Let’s explore why and how they work.

What is a 302 Redirect?

It’s a server setting or command that redirects/forwards pages to a different domain name or destination. The reason these are labeled as “temporary” is because search engines will frequently check this redirect to update it. If your site stops using a shortened URL, and another site begins using it later on, Google and other search engines will update the results to reflect the new destination page.

How 302 Redirect Works with a URL Shortener

Companies that offer URL shorteners may use the 302 redirect command to ensure all shortened URLs remain up-to-date and get to the proper destinations. But you don’t have to worry about creating any code or commands in your site’s code or FTP section. The URL shortener service will create it for you. All you have to do is sign up for an account (some are free) and then type the VERY LONG URL you wish to shorten. The shorter URL will have a different top level domain name, so it won’t be the same as your company’s domain name.

This comes in handy if you need to create a temporary promotional page for a product but you don’t want to change the original product page design. The main product page can be redirected using a 302 redirect for as long as the promotion lasts. You can also promote the shorter URL in blogs, social networks, etc. and encourage other visitors to take advantage of the promotion while it lasts.

Another use for shortened URLs using the 302 setting is to shorten a very long URL that you would like to promote via Twitter, Facebook or other sites that might have a character limit on link submissions. Depending on the type of programming used for your site’s design, a specific URL might be very long! This can prevent it from being accepted in some submission forms, or it could deter visitors to those sites from clicking the link. Long links tend to become broken easily too, thus causing them not to work when clicked on!

Choose a URL shortener service that uses 302 redirect. This will save time and headaches later on when you want to change your marketing strategy, but will also help you reach short-term promotional goals. Some sites even make it possible to earn cash every time someone clicks on your shortened URL. So you’ll have plenty of motivation to shorten your long URLs and promote them wherever possible!

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