Long web shop URLs

I sometimes look for products in webshops for colleagues or friends and send them links. I feel like URLs are getting longer every year – is there a good trick to shorten them?

More from c't magazine

More from c't magazine

More from c't magazine

More from c't magazine

In fact, web shops excessively enrich their article URLs with information that they use for statistics. Most of the time, they use query parameters that are appended to a URL after a question mark. Typically, anything before the question mark is the path to a product, and anything after that is optional. In the latter, the shops encode how you came across the product and what you may have entered in the search. Many shops also assign you an ID to track you and document your decision-making processes.

All this is not necessary to pass on links. Feel free to shorten generously and test the shrunken link – it usually still leads to the product. For example, an Amazon link follows the scheme ” of the product>?“. The rear part, including the question mark, can be removed completely.

If this mallet method doesn’t produce a working link, or you don’t want to constantly remove the tags by hand, then use a browser extension like ClearURLs. The extension knows the link structures of various websites and cuts off URLs automatically.


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