The URL shortener has been available in other Google products, Maps, News, Blogger for sometime, and we are pleased that it is now it is open to everyone whether you are logged into Google or not. What we particular like about the URL tool, is the speed to shorten – super quick in comparison to others.
Try it here: http://goo.gl/
Another big positive about the Google URL shortener is that if you sign in with your Google Account and create the shortened link when signed in, Google will provide the history of that link, along with analytics so you can track the traffic.
We have just found out that there will be API in the future, so once this is available, people may want to opt to integrating goo.gl as a choice for shortening links in their sites and applications.
You can even get a QR code for every link you shorten, viewing on the stats page, or appending .qr to any link. To find out why you would want to do this, visit back to this blog in a couple of weeks, where one of our Web Developers (Andy Edwards) will be explaining a bit more about QR (quick response) codes. In summary a QR Code is a bar code that can store much more information and on scan can take you direct to a website (links to Mobile Marketing).
A short explanation about how url shortening works from Craig Sherlock one of our Web Developers at Rocktime:
1) URL to shorten: http://www.rocktime.co.uk
2) A shortened url is created: Goo.gl/Vilj
3) The shortened url is then stored in the database at Goo.gl, along with the real url
4) When someone clicks the shortened url they are taken to Goo.gl
5) Goo.gl sees that /Vilj has been appended to the url and looks in its database for the entry Goo.gl/Vilj
6) Once found it looks at an opposite column (Real URL) and finds http://www.rocktime.co.uk
7) The next column will now increment by a value of 1. This keeps track of the number of visits.
8) Once incremented; the page then redirects the user to http://www.rocktime.co.uk
Find out more about the Google URL Shortener over at the Google Blog: