Google's URL shortner, now even more accessible

 

Long URLs are annoying and inconvenient for sharing and advertising for us all. By shortening a URL we can share a link without the URL breaking up or taking space which makes these type of utilities especially useful for Twitter and Facebook. The most popular ones such as bit.ly and TinyURL are managed by smaller companies that may not have a long life span. Google thought they would use this to their advantage.

Goo.gl was once a utility built into Google Toolbar, but as of today, Google have released their goo.gl URL shortner for use to anyone with a web browser. It comes with a simplistic interface and according to Google’s Muthu Muthusrinivasan “We don't intend to overload goo.gl with features, but we do want it to be the stablest, most secure, and fastest URL shortener on the Web".

By using the service you will also be able to view web-based analysed charts based on your usage as well as Google using your information to determine which links are popular, unsafe and authoritative. Additionally they show when, how often, and from which computer people are clicking on your URLs.

If going to the website doesn’t interest you, perhaps a Google Chrome goo.gl extension or even the goo.gl Firefox extension    will.

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43 Comments

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Would be good if it could be linked to an Google Analytics account... now that would be the perfect webmaster tool!

Come on Google.... do you really have to take out the little guys? I don't see how you can put ads on a redirect unless you put a frame on top which none of the others uses.

URL shorteners are a terrible invention that make the Internet harder to use and encourage phishing attacks, and were only created to work around the horrible limitations of Twitter. With recent trend toward a more RESTful web, you'd think these abominations would be going out of style...

By shortening a URL we can share a link without the URL breaking up or taking space which makes these type of utilities especially useful for Twitter and Facebook

That's what the anchor tag is for, and besides, nobody should use URL shorteners for Facebook! Unlike Twitter, they actually have the functionality to handle a link (which is presented with a nice image, and description) built-in, and allows you to see where you're going before you click. You know, how the web is supposed to work...

It's too long, 11 characters (if not counting the http://)
Guys some months ago, there was some news about shortner sites, and one guys posted here an url shortner very very small, something like http://.?/ (the ? is a letter that I don't remember).
Any of you guys can tell me if there is in reality such small url shortner??

onesolo said,
It's too long, 11 characters (if not counting the http://)
Guys some months ago, there was some news about shortner sites, and one guys posted here an url shortner very very small, something like http://.?/ (the ? is a letter that I don't remember).
Any of you guys can tell me if there is in reality such small url shortner??

I think it was http://to./ but it doesn't look to be working anymore.

I hate shorteners for the simple fact I like to see the address of where it plans on sending me before I click it. At least there are browser extensions that un-shorten the url so you can see it in the status bar before you decide to click.

That's awesome that you have to use an extension to work around a limitation that's a work around for a limitation of Twitter!

Instead of creating workarounds for workarounds, why doesn't Twitter just add proper support for links?

random_n said,
If I can avoid it, I will not click on a "shortened" URL. I did have to chuckle after finding out about http://hugeurl.com though.

Thats nice

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Pupik said,

I'm sure you meant "to provide ads that I might click on", but never mind.

And by the way; It needs some work, judged by the example on the screenshot.
http://goo.gl/4pok and http://goo.gl/4PoK links to different locations.

Uh, they are case sensitive.... therefore they go to different links. this way it allows them (and all web shorteners do this) to get a lot more use out of the same amount of characters before they need to add an extra one.

Hannes.nz said,

Uh, they are case sensitive.... therefore they go to different links. this way it allows them (and all web shorteners do this) to get a lot more use out of the same amount of characters before they need to add an extra one.


But then it only makes good use when you have an option to click on the link. Doesn't when you type from hearing over the phone (for example), or take note otherwise on paper. Because you have to specify it exactly with all the capitals and what not. I'm sure I won't have that problem because I doubt I'll ever use this service, but it's not hard to imagine a conversation that's going to happen too often for those who will make a use of it:
"Write it down and visit it later. gee double o dot gee el... yeah, google, without the "e"... forward slash, small ef, a big vee, a small aitch... yeah, a horse... and then an eight... of course the number. What else? goo.gl/fVH8".
Would have been much better, if it didn't matter how you typed the letters as long as they're in their order.

Pupik said,

But then it only makes good use when you have an option to click on the link. Doesn't when you type from hearing over the phone (for example), or take note otherwise on paper. Because you have to specify it exactly with all the capitals and what not. I'm sure I won't have that problem because I doubt I'll ever use this service, but it's not hard to imagine a conversation that's going to happen too often for those who will make a use of it:
"Write it down and visit it later. gee double o dot gee el... yeah, google, without the "e"... forward slash, small ef, a big vee, a small aitch... yeah, a horse... and then an eight... of course the number. What else? goo.gl/fVH8".
Would have been much better, if it didn't matter how you typed the letters as long as they're in their order.

Since this service is made for use with twitter and the like, then it will be clickable. so your point is moot.

Hannes.nz said,

Since this service is made for use with twitter and the like, then it will be clickable. so your point is moot.


Since such services are made to shorten long urls, I don't see where it's only limited for usage on "twitter and the like". Never saw business cards with such services, but I sure have seen tinyurl in newspaper ads used to shorten the ad space. And Google should have learned from tinyurl. You can type the url however you like without that capital letters bull****, and it still links you to the same location.
http://<<; spam >>/2g6bf87 http://<<; spam >>/2G6BF87 http://<<; spam >>/2g6BF87

edit: I see Neowin censors tinyurl links. When goo.gl's turn will come?

Pupik said,

Since such services are made to shorten long urls, I don't see where it's only limited for usage on "twitter and the like". Never saw business cards with such services, but I sure have seen tinyurl in newspaper ads used to shorten the ad space. And Google should have learned from tinyurl. You can type the url however you like without that capital letters bull****, and it still links you to the same location.
http://<<; spam >>/2g6bf87 http://<<; spam >>/2G6BF87 http://<<; spam >>/2g6BF87

edit: I see Neowin censors tinyurl links. When goo.gl's turn will come?


If people can't understand the difference between an uppercase or lowercase letter in a text code in a newspaper text, they don't deserve to be able to follow the link and can just as well proceed consuming their hamburgers.

naap51stang said,
Doesn't tinyurl <dot> com do the same thing?

It does, but as the article says, it might not be around as long as google, so the link might not as permanent. Plus the domain itself is 11 characters long, and goo.gl is only 6, and if character length is an issue (for twitter) then 5 characters can make a difference.

naap51stang said,
Doesn't tinyurl <dot> com do the same thing?

Yes, but there may be some differences. Goo.gl does this:
- Statistics on the number of clicks
- Supports QR code (append .qr to generated URL's)
- Malware and phishing detection for the generated links
- Fast resolution of the clicked links

Hannes.nz said,

It does, but as the article says, it might not be around as long as google, so the link might not as permanent. Plus the domain itself is 11 characters long, and goo.gl is only 6, and if character length is an issue (for twitter) then 5 characters can make a difference.

j.mp would be better then

Pupik said,
Looks like another way to track user's activity around the Internet.


Oh, give the conspiracy theories a rest. Google couldn't care less who you are or what you are looking at, other than to make their search results better.

roadwarrior said,


Oh, give the conspiracy theories a rest. Google couldn't care less who you are or what you are looking at, other than to make their search results better.

I'm sure you meant "to provide ads that I might click on", but never mind.

And by the way; It needs some work, judged by the example on the screenshot.
http://goo.gl/4pok and http://goo.gl/4PoK links to different locations.

Pupik said,

I'm sure you meant "to provide ads that I might click on", but never mind.

And by the way; It needs some work, judged by the example on the screenshot.
http://goo.gl/4pok and http://goo.gl/4PoK links to different locations.

I still don't understand, would you prefer ads for products you and nobody else wants? I personally would prefer to look at ads that are about things I am interested in, and not about things I will never care about or buy. If you're worried about people using your computer seeing ads that you are embarrassed about, or whatever, I suggest you learn what user accounts are and use them.

roadwarrior said,
Oh, give the conspiracy theories a rest. Google couldn't care less who you are or what you are looking at, other than to make their search results better.
If Google couldn't care less who I am or what I am looking at, then why are they using my information to make "their" search results better? Why do they need my location information? Why do they show me targeted advertising on websites and mobile apps? Why don't they give me access to their servers so I can delete every single piece of information about me from their servers? Right.

Back on topic: Well through URL shorteners Google's got another source of information to rank hyperlinks.

Pupik said,

I'm sure you meant "to provide ads that I might click on", but never mind.

And by the way; It needs some work, judged by the example on the screenshot.
http://goo.gl/4pok and http://goo.gl/4PoK links to different locations.


No, that's by design. If the letters are case-sensitive, then you have a larger 'address space' for a set number of characters.

Rodrigo said,
Can you fix the link to the Firefox extension?

I apologize for that. Thanks for pointing it out. Fixed.