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url shortening was a fucking awful idea
url shortening was a fucking awful idea
URL http://urlte.am
Project status Online!
Archiving status In progress...
Project source Unknown
Project tracker Unknown
IRC channel #archiveteam (on EFnet)
Project lead Unknown

TinyURL and other similar services allow long URLs to be converted to smaller ones on their specific service; the small URL is visited by a consumer and their web browser is redirected to the long URL.

Services like TinyURL are a ticking timebomb. If they go away, get hacked or sell out millions of links will be lost (see Wikipedia: Link Rot). 301Works.org claims to archive shorturls, but so far they have not released a single backup file for download. As always, the Archiveteam is here to help with their Urlteam subcommitee.

Who did this?

You can join us in our IRC channel: #urlteam on EFNet


  • User:Chronomex wrote his own efficient Perl-based scraper: [1]
  • User:Soult did the same in Ruby
  • The Monkeyshines algorithmic scraper has a tool to efficiently scrape URL shortening services -- see the examples/shorturls directory. It scales efficiently to tens of millions of saved URLs. It uses a read-through cache to prevent re-requesting urls, it allows multiple scrapers to run on different machines while sharing the same lookup cache. You can either feed it a list of bare urls, or have it randomly try either base-36 or base-62 URLs. With it, User:Mrflip gathered about 6M valid URLs pulled from twitter messages so far.

Or just ask!

Here's a template that worked for me at least once. Well, data is pending but the site owner is gung-ho.

Try sending an email to the website owner:


I'm working with Jason Scott of textfiles.org and other members of the
Archive Team.

Since the recent scare involving http://tr.im/'s announced (and then
retracted) imminent demise, we've been working to archive all the
links from URL shorteners around the Internet.

If I'm not mistaken, you operate urlx.org.  Would you be so kind as to
share with us a copy of your URL database?  We'll do our best to
preserve this data forever in a useful way.

We are already very far along in scraping links from tr.im, but it's
faster (and friendlier!) to contact site owners asking for a copy of
their data than it is to scrape.

We've got a domain registered, urlte.am, and all links will be
available for redirect in the format:


If you could help us, that would be excellent!

Thank you,

URL shorteners

New table

The new table includes shorteners we have already started to scrape.

Name Number of shorturls Scraping done by Status Comments
TinyURL 1,000,000,000 User:Soult 5-letter codes done, on halt due to being banned (2010-12-20) non-sequential, bans IP for requesting too many non-existing shorturls
bit.ly 4,000,000,000 User:Soult about 1/3 (2011-02-15) non-sequential
goo.gl ?? User:Scumola started (2011-03-04) goo.gl throttles pulls
is.gd 354,527,352 User:Chronomex/User:Soult probably got about 95% before switch to non-sequential now non-sequential, new software version added crappy rate limiting
ff.im ? User:Chronomex only used by FriendFeed, no interface to shorten new URLs
4url.cc 1279 (2009-08-14)[1] User:Chronomex done (2009-08-14) dead (2011-02-15)
litturl.com 17096[2] User:Chronomex done dead (2010-11-18)
xs.md 3084 (2009-08-15)[3] User:Chronomex done dead (2010-11-18)
url.0daymeme.com 14867 (2009-08-14)[4] User:Chronomex done dead (2010-11-18)
tr.im ? User:Soult 5-letter codes finished, 6-letter codes in progress resolving still works despite planning to completely shut down at the end of 2010 (2011-02-15), whoever owns that thing is a major pain in the ass
adjix.com ? User:Jeroenz0r Already done: 00-zz, 000-zzz and 0000-9999. Currently doing 9999-j000 case-insensitive, incremental
rod.gs ? User:Jeroenz0r Done: 00-ZZ, 000-2Qc case-sensitive, incremental, server can't keep up with all the requests.
biglnk.com ? User:Jeroenz0r Done: 0-Z, 00-ZZ, 000-ZZZ case-sensitive, incremental
Name Number of shorturls Scraping done by Status Comments

Old list[5]

List last updated 2009-08-14.

  • 1link.in - Website dead
  • 6url.com - HTML redirect
  • ad.vu - mirror of adjix.com
  • budurl.com - Appears non-incremental
  • canurl.com
  • cli.gs - Appears non-incremental
  • decenturl.com - Not at all easy to scrape.
  • dlvr.it
  • doiop.com - Appears non-incremental
  • dwarfurl.com - Numeric, appears incremental: http://dwarfurl.com/08041
  • easyuri.com - Appears hex incremental with last digit random/checksum: http://easyuri.com/1339f , http://easyuri.com/133a3
  • easyurl.net - Appears non-incremental: http://easyurl.net/afd2f
  • go2cut.com
  • ilix.in
  • imfy.us - requires a recaptcha to get to the linked site.
  • jdem.cz - Incremental with random (?) last digit: http://jdem.cz/bw388
  • lnkurl.com
  • memurl.com - Pronounceable. Broken.
  • metamark.net / xrl.us - ? http://xrl.us/bfabog
  • minilien.com - Doesn't appear guessable: http://minilien.com/?9nyvwnA0gh
  • myurl.in - Doesn't appear guessable, is probably bruteforceable: http://myurl.in/lT7z5em.cz - Incremental with random (?) last digit: http://jdem.cz/bw388
  • lnkurl.com
  • memurl.com - Pronounceable. Broken.
  • metamark.net / xrl.us - ? http://xrl.us/bfabog
  • minilien.com - Doesn't appear guessable: http://minilien.com/?9nyvwnA0gh
  • myurl.in - Doesn't appear guessable, is probably bruteforceable: http://myurl.in/lT7z5
  • notlong.com - Appears to be alpha-only: http://yeitoo.notlong.com/
  • nutshellurl.com - Appears incremental. 301s to a redirector script, which then 301s you to the destination.
  • ow.ly - I can't get it to work.
  • plexp.com - Parked.
  • pnt.me - Doesn't appear guessable, too big a space to bruteforce: http://pnt.me/FzAblc
  • poprl.com - Not resolving
  • qurlyq.com - Javascript redirect. Appears sequential: http://qurlyq.com/5nf
  • redirx.com - Lowercase alpha only, appears sequential or guessable: http://redirx.com/?wyok
  • s3nt.com - Probably sequential. http://s3nt.com/aa goes somewhere different from /ab
  • shorterlink.com - Parked.
  • shortlinks.co.uk - Not resolving
  • short.to - Domain is parked - Probably sequential/loweralpha: http://short.to/msmp
  • shorturl.com - Probably sequential/loweralpha: http://alturl.com/wqok
  • shrinklink.co.uk - Doesn't appear sequential: http://www.shrinklink.co.uk/45bmx , www.shrinklink.co.uk/npk6xp
  • shrinkurl.us
  • shrt.st
  • shurl.net
  • simurl.com
  • shorl.com
  • smarturl.eu
  • snipr.com
  • snipurl.com
  • snurl.com
  • sn.vc
  • starturl.com
  • surl.co.uk
  • tighturl.com
  • timesurl.at
  • tiny123.com
  • tiny.cc
  • tinylink.com
  • tobtr.com
  • traceurl.com
  • tr.im
  • tweetburner.com
  • twitpwr.com
  • twitthis.com
  • twurl.nl
  • u.mavrev.com
  • ur1.ca - Database is downloadable from website directly.
  • url9.com - Sequential, alphanumeric. Leading 0s are significant.
  • urlborg.com
  • urlbrief.com
  • urlcover.com
  • urlcut.com
  • urlhawk.com
  • url-press.com
  • urlsmash.com
  • urltea.com
  • urlvi.be
  • urlx.org - Owner has agreed to share his database
  • vimeo.com
  • wlink.us
  • xaddr.com
  • xil.in
  • xrl.us - see metamark.net
  • xym.kr
  • x.se
  • yatuc.com
  • yep.it
  • yweb.com
  • zi.ma
  • w3t.org

"Official" shorteners

  • goog.gl - Google
  • fb.me - Facebook
  • amzn.to - Amazon
  • binged.it - Bing (bonus points for being longer than bing.com)
  • y.ahoo.it - Yahoo
  • youtu.be - YouTube
  • t.co? - Twitter
  • post.ly - Posterous
  • wp.me - Wordpress.com
  • flic.kr - Flickr
  • lnkd.in - LinkedIn
  • su.pr - StumbleUpon
  • go.usa.gov - USA Government (and since they control the Internets, it doesn't get much more official than this)
  • nyturl.com - NY Times (bonus points for being longer than nyt.com, which they own)
  • tcrn.ch - Techcrunch
  • digg.com - discontinued - [2]

Dead or Broken Shorteners

  • chod.sk - Appears non-incremental, not resolving
  • gonext.org - not resolving
  • ix.it - Not resolving
  • jijr.com - Doesn't appear to be a shortener, now parked
  • kissa.be - "Kissa.be url shortener service is shutdown"
  • kurl.us - Parked.
  • miklos.dk - Doesn't appear guessable: http://miklos.dk/!z7bA6a - "Vi arbejder på sagen..."
  • minurl.org - Presently in ERROR 404
  • muhlink.com - Not resolving
  • myurl.us - cpanel frontend