Google’s goo.gl URL Shortener is now available for public via the website Goo.gl. Google released the Goo.gl URL shortener service (along with Youtu.be URL shortener) in December 2009. According to a blog post on Google Social Web blog and another post by Matt Cutts, Goo.gl URL shortening service was initially launched for the requirement of Google’s staff in their products. But it has quickly got into popularity and even some pretty good browser extensions have come in (here’s one for Chrome). Until now the service was available via Google Toolbar alone. Not anymore! You don’t need any external add-ons or extensions or workarounds to use this service now. This is now available for public use via the website.
To shorten any URL, go to goo.gl, enter your and click Shorten. The good thing about this is, much like Bit.ly, Goo.gl will also show you the analytics of the links that you have shortened, provided you have signed into your Googe account. Without signing in, you can still shorten the links but you can’t keep track of the clicks coming from that particular short URL.
As you can see in the screenshot, the dashboard will show you the list of links that you have shortened using this too. It will also show the number of clicks received along with a “Details’ link, clicking on which will take you to the detailed analytics of your links.
The analytics shows you the clicks received against a time line, the top traffic referrers, the countries from where the visits came, the browsers used, the Operating systems (or the platforms) used etc.
You can also generate a unique QR code exclusively with Google’s URL shortener. Which looks something like this:
The only thing that might disappoint is the inability to choose custom URLs that is very much possible with the market leader in this sector, Bit.ly.
Go and give it a try at Goo.gl.