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How to find where short link leads without clicking on it (bit.ly goo.gl etc)

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Short links are used all over today. Anytime you see an address that is bit.ly or goo.gl or even youtu.be, the link has been shortened for various reasons. One can be so that it’s easier to copy, or that it can be easier to remember if you pick a “vanity” shortlink (like bit.ly/test), as well as a myriad of others. Unfortunately, short links can also be used for evil. Scammers will commonly try to hide where the link will take you by using short links, so someevilwebsite.com, would just look the same as any other bit.ly link. Also, it’s much harder for websites to spam filter, because while you could block links to someevilwebsite.com, it’s much harder to block short links that link you there.

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to not only find out where the short link will take you, but also some useful statistics about it. First, we will take a short link (this is the one I show in the video, taken from the youtube description of a Pewdiepie video) https://bitly.com/AndroidBro

Just looking at the link, it’s impossible to know where it will link you too, but if you just add a plus to the link (https://bitly.com/AndroidBro+) then when you click on it, it will bring you to a page where you can view where it links to, as well as statistics for the link. You can see the web page for the link in the image below:

Find where short link goes without clicking

This works with just about any short linking system you’ll find on the internet, including the ones that are pay per click.

I definitely suggest using this to tell where you are being linked to, especially if you don’t know the person giving you the link (random email, random user comment, suspicious message on facebook), and then don’t go to the page if it seems different than what you were expecting.

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