Is there a reason I cannot use Google's URL shortener on Sports Illustrated links?

This is a first for me.

I use URL shorteners quite a bit in my work and this is the first time I’ve seen a URL refuse to be shortened. As in, the shortener said it could not do it. Google’s shortener no less.

For those unaware a URL shortener turns a link such as into a shorter one like Both links take you to the same place but in articles and emails and such the shorter one is not so hard to read (well…the SDMB URL is not bad but some can be quite lengthy).

So try

Then go to (Google’s shortener) and paste that SI URL just above and try to shorten it. You get a message that says the URL cannot be shortened.

Note that you CAN shorten that URL using Bitly and it returns a vanity shortened URL (in this case

This amazes me. I can’t believe Google would capitulate to someone on something like this. What’s more I can find no info on the internet about either Sports Illustrated or others being able to do this. That is also a first for me.

Is my PC broken or is something else going on?

There’s definitely something on Google’s end preventing this.

If I put in the SI link, I get the message you get. But if I choose “copy link location” from your post, I can make a link that works, presumably because that link starts with " "

It doesn’t work for me either. And I can’t shorten the Sports Illustrated homepage ( either. It must be a restriction by them.

Google’s URL shortener is intended only for Google properties. So it will work on YouTube, but not Vimeo. Try instead.

No, I was able to use the Google tool on a Time magazine page, selected at random from the homepage.

For the record, i will NOT click on a link that uses a URL shortener, and I always advised against it when I was dong tech work for a school system. Good way to get hit with malware or inundated with unwanted porn.

Is there no love for the classics? TinyUrl was around long before those new-fangled shorteners came around.


turns into this.

Thought it might be the 2 letter domian name, as this doesn’t work either

but other twofers do.

That’s an interesting idea (that the problem is the two-letter domain name). So I tested it, by editing the Sports Illustrated link in the OP, changing to Once I did that, I was able to use the Google tool.

Both cc and si are valid country codes. Maybe that’s the difference. appears to be programmed to reject … You can modify the domain name of the SI url , and it gets rejected. You can try really simple URL’s at and they get rejected. is programmed to reject

How interesting. I use URL shorteners all the time, mostly and tinyURL. I just had to try it myself, because I’d never encountered “This URL cannot be shortened. Please try another one.

OP’s original URL: ==> This URL cannot be shortened. Please try another one. interesting.

As Dewey Finn said, changed OP’s URL, replaced with ==> Success,

This policy page explains some instances where will not work but it does not explain why an URL cannot be shortened while the same URL (but with instead of can be:

This. The only legitimate reason to use a URL shortener is if you’re including it in a character-limited medium like SMS or Twitter. Otherwise I assume you’re obfuscating the actual site URL for a reason and I ain’t going to click it.

I know what “malware” is, but what’s “unwanted porn”?

Or, to shorten the URL to put into an email. Don’t be so paranoid!

Maps links, especially, can be annoyingly long.


(Or even this!):

Is so much nicer than this:,+Beatty,+NV+89003/The+Racetrack,+California/@36.8170246,-117.1818363,8z/data=!4m8!4m7!1m2!1m1!1s0x80b8a148013b6d0f:0x9109081ac8445489!1m2!1m1!1s0x80bf6098557ef0cd:0x769843635ebc2486!3e0 Edited – and even that was snipped here on SDMB.

That full URL includes (I removed the https://www. Part) ***,+Beatty,+NV+89003/The+Racetrack,+California/@36.8170246,-117.1818363,8z/data=!4m8!4m7!1m2!1m1!1s0x80b8a148013b6d0f:0x9109081ac8445489!1m2!1m1!1s0x80bf6098557ef0cd:0x769843635ebc2486!3e0

There’s no character limit in email. And if the full URL won’t fit in a tweet, then Twitter isn’t the proper channel to send it. Just because your favorite tool is a shiny new hammer doesn’t mean every problem is a nail.

NEVER click on a link if you can’t tell where it goes without clicking first.

Yeah, map links I always shorten, and appreciate it if they are shortened.

I think that this flavor of paranoia is becoming outdated. We have all sorts of companies trying to hide spyware in otherwise legitimate downloads; we have drive-by downloads from compromised ads; we have phishing attacks – all these are pushing out the old methods of delivering malware. A full-length link won’t do you any good if you’re too lazy to notice that it’s a cleverly-misspelled variation of a legitimate site.

Google maps allows for a shortened URL of their links, which is convenient.

What’s more is that many systems allow you to see the actual URL that you will be taken to. I always check this before clicking on a hidden or shortened/dereferenced link.