Thursday, September 30, 2010 | 1:05 PM
We first introduced the Google URL Shortener (goo.gl) last December as part of Google Toolbar and Feedburner. Since our initial release, we’ve integrated the technology into many other Google products including News, Blogger, Maps, Picasa Web Albums, and Moderator, but people have been asking for a direct way to use the service. Today we’re giving goo.gl its own website (http://goo.gl/, of course!). 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.
There are many shorteners out there with great features, so some people may wonder whether the world really needs yet another. As we said late last year, we built goo.gl with a focus on quality. With goo.gl, every time you shorten a URL, you know it will work, it will work fast, and it will keep working. You also know that when you click a goo.gl shortened URL, you’re protected against malware, phishing and spam using the same industry-leading technology we use in search and other products. Since our initial release, we’ve continued to invest in the core quality of the service:
- Stability: We’ve had near 100% uptime since our initial launch, and we’ve worked behind the scenes to make goo.gl even stabler and more robust.
- Security: We’ve added automatic spam detection based on the same type of filtering technology we use in Gmail.
- Speed: We’ve more than doubled our speed in just over nine months.
To access the new website and start taking advantage of these improvements, simply type “goo.gl” in your web browser and hit enter. There you’ll find a simple interface where you can quickly shorten a URL.
We’ve focused on making the service lean, but you will find some helpful features. If you sign-in to your Google Account, you’ll see a list of URLs you’ve shortened in the past. Click the “details” link next to any of shortened URL and you’ll find public, real-time analytics data, complete with traffic over time, top referrers, and visitor profiles. This can be a great way to better understand who’s interested in your links, how they’re finding them and when they’re reading.
We also wanted to thank the many application developers out there who took the time to build extensions and other services integrating goo.gl technology. Even without an official API, there are extensions available for browsers like Chrome (eg: goo.gl URL Shortener, Shareaholic for Google Chrome) and Firefox (eg: goo.gl lite). Before people start writing code to incorporate our new features, we wanted to let you know we do plan to release an official API for goo.gl in the future. You’ll be able to use the API to shorten URLs, expand URLs, and view analytics from directly within your own applications.