Goo.gl – URL Shortener from Google
Found In: Tools
Google’s committed effort to bringing information in the most timely and relevant manner to users has forged a corporate culture that lends itself to enhanced creativity and innovation. Google staffers are encouraged to work twenty per cent of their paid time on projects they individually see as interesting and desirable, irrespective of whether they have a potentially commercial application or not. This is an exciting way to engage some of the best brains in the technology sector. And Google has wasted no opportunity recruit the most talented brain trust available from the best colleges around the world and head hunted them from the largest technology businesses. This means some of the best technology brains on Earth each have twenty per cent of their working time committed to what they believe can be the most useful for us users to enjoy.
With there now being many billions of web sites online, more than two sites per man woman and child, the length of domain names and the length of web sites addresses have grown to be very long indeed. And this often presents problems when trying to communicate an interesting web site to other people; they are simply too long for people to accurately pass them along to others. This is especially true with applications like Twitter and with text messaging which both have strict character count limits imposed. The answer to this problem has been URL shortening web site services. These services are very easy to use. You enter in (usually by copy and pasting it) the very long and cumbersome URL, click a button and then you are given a very short URL in return. When visitors click on the shortened URL, the web site service uses page redirection technology to transfer the visitor to the long URL.
Google has provided a very simple to use web site URL shortening service. This is perfect for users to quickly change any long web page addresses into short and easy to remember addresses that they can then send by Twitter or text message to their friends and contacts. And Google’s web site URL shortening service, Goo Gl provides users with analytics data about how many people did click on or use the link. This information is broken down into standard defaults of the last two hours, the last twenty four hours, the last week, the last month and for all time. This is very useful, because many people who use URL shortening services are Internet Marketers broadcasting product announcements to their contact groups, especially by using Twitter.
Not only is it useful to shorten the URL when you are an Internet Marketer. Often it is helpful to disguise the URL. That is, if the message sender is an affiliate intending to make a commission should the recipient, then totally disguising the destination web site is helpful at preventing recipients from removing the affiliate code from the URL. In fact it is often to cause the recipient to be so curious about what the destination site is, that only by clicking on the shortened can they find out what it is.
Goo gl’s service is Super-Fast, Secure and Reliable
There are several competing web site URL shortening services available, and all of them are free to use and they all operate in basically the same way. Users gravitate to goo Gl because of the analytics statistical visitor data gathering aspect. This information goes way further than simply visitor numbers, because it also includes information about the operating system the users have used, as well as the web site browser they have used. This is particularly useful information to Internet Marketers.
As yet, Google have not release their Application Programming Interface (API) for their Goo Gl offering. It’s main claim to fame is that it provides the fastest URL redirection service, which should come as no surprise given that it has the largest and most powerful computer network in the world. Other services that first developed the concept of URL shortening have fallen from grace because their URL redirection was very slow or not responsive at all.
Bit.ly seems to be the strongest competing service around, and its management feels flattered that Google has intimidated its service with goo.gl. The bit.ly service being more mature and around for longer does already have its own API in the wild, which allows others to rebrand the service under different names. In fact bit.ly boasts of having more than four thousand white label deals in place.
Goo gl was an Accident more Than a Planned Product Offering
Google’s own Matt Cutts explained that google developed the service simply because it needed it for many of its own products in a way that would be fast, stable and secure. The product was first used as part of the Google Toolbar, but within a short time some users had looked inside the toolbar to find the URL shortening code which they developed as an extension for Chrome. Within a few days, there had been seventy thousand downloads of the Chrome plug in extension. This caused google to launch the service publicly, though not with any particular business plan in mind. It was always simply intended for Google’s internal use, it escaped into the wild and so Google took it to be directly accessible from the goo.gl web site for the general public to use.
Whilst Google has added the analytics data capturing functionality, Google has no plans to build upon this aspect of the service. Organizations such as bit.ly therefore have nothing to be concerned about in the long run; Google’s offering is a simple and user driven modest affair not intending to capture any market share. Having said that, it certainly is very interesting to see the massive range of devices, browsers and operating systems that are now able to access the web. These markets were tightly held by few competitors, and now they are being broken down by the large numbers of alternatives available.