In this digital era, we may have come across or received a short-link without a prior knowledge where it will redirect us to. By now maybe you are wondering what is this URL Forwarding well, URL forwarding, is a World Wide Web technique for making a web page available under more than one URL address. When we click on the shortened URL the web browser tries to open the redirect web page, but it ends up opening a different new web-page.
Now to bring a clear picture to where does short-link redirect to, let’s take for instance my website and use bit.ly to shorten the URL. After doing so I get https://bit.ly/385T9iT which looks pretty short and easy to share. But a question might rise where does this short-link redirect me to?
Before we know where our link https://bit.ly/385T9iT will redirect us to, let us know what are advantages and disadvantages of URL redirection.
- for URL shortening;
- to allow multiple domain names belonging to the same owner to refer to a single web site;
- to guide navigation into and out of a website;
- for privacy protection
- to prevent broken links when web pages are moved;
- for hostile purposes such as phishing attacks or malware distribution.
Now to trace where our link is redirecting to, we will use an online tool, where we will copy and paste our short-link to and analyze the redirection root. Sometimes one short-link may redirect to various web pages for various purposes among them are to analyze how many people clicked the link, to click ads and also redirection to phishing sites among others.
In our case, our link has only one trace path, by opening our browser (I’m using brave browser) just type or click this link https://wheregoes.com/ and copy and paste our link https://bit.ly/385T9iT in the search bar and press TraceURL. Pasting the link direct has been disabled so instead you should press (Ctrl+V) if you are on Windows and (Cmd+V) for those on Mac.
After pressing TraceURL our tool will analyze the URL and trace all the paths redirection and present you will final trace results.