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Google launches URL shortener

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Saturday October 2, 2010 )

Google has had a URL shortening application for some time, but it was used primarily in-house in association with some other Google services. The application is now to the public.

Available at, it’s not anything eye popping – it shortens URLs and if you have a Google account, some tracking is available.

I’m currently using which I find very handy – I don’t even have to click control+c on the keyboard to copy the shortened URL’s; but an interesting feature has (according to Google):

“You also know that when you click a shortened URL, you’re protected against malware, phishing and spam using the same industry-leading technology we use in search and other products.”

This has always been a major issue of shortened URLs – you don’t really know if the link you are clicking is safe. With the Google brand behind it, perhaps URL’s will be seen by Joe Surfer as a vote of confidence over time.

Google also says the shortening service will use a proper 301 redirect and users can rest assured the links will always work.

URL shortening has certainly been one of those “sleeper” applications. I remember they had some popularity early last decade, but then were pretty much only used by spammers and such. It was the association with spamming and malware that gave them a bad name, but with the rise of services such as Twitter plus some new features; they’ve enjoyed a massive resurgence in popularity.

Before you rush out to set up your own URL shortening service for fun and profit, you need to ask yourself – how will it make money?

Monetizing these sorts of applications is well near impossible; so unless you want to use it purely for your own tracking or perhaps to sell as a script for others to use, it’s best just to use what is already out there.


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