Google Creates a Handy URL Shortener
Some things just sneak up on you—like Goo.gl, the new URL shortener that Google popped onto the marketplace without a lot of bells and whistles this fall. You probably never heard of it, because no one made much noise about it. But it's out there competing with TinyURL, Bit.ly and the others. In the past, Goo.gl could only be used for Google's own services, but now it's open to everyone, that is, if they know about it.
Many people are a bit suspicious about URL shorteners because they are sure the programs won't get all the information across. However, I've been using TinyURL for years and have never had anyone tell me it didn't work. Smaller URLs are important, because some people have e-mail programs that will cause long URLs to break. Not everyone knows how to put broken URLs back together.
A Website called Pingdom put Goo.gl to the test to see if its performance was accurate and fast. They found that Goo.gl was three times as fast as Bit.ly, and outside of North America, it was four times faster. Of course this is only if this matters to you. I personally don't care how fast the URL shortener is, just as long as it doesn't take the slow boat to China.
Pingdom also found that Goo.gl and Bit.ly were both 100 percent reliable, meaning that the information arrived intact and that the URL wasn't broken. Only a smidgen down on the list was is.gd, which was 99.99 percent accurate.
I tried it for myself. I took a completely arbitrary headlined story from MSNBC.com: http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/01/13/5830166-first-thoughts-obama-recaptures-his-2004-voice and put it into goo.gl. I came out with: http://goo.gl/Dv67p. Try the first URL and second in a browser and see what you get. Perfect matches.
For all of those who think that Google is going to conquer the world this may be more proof. Sometimes just the little things are important steps along the way.