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URL shorteners are so yesterday, well that is my opinion. Regardless of it, it seems that companies still like the idea of turning a web address into an often smaller alternative. It makes sense on Twitter where users are limited to 140 chars, and maybe for mobile use, but beyond that?
Google seems to believe that it is beneficial to have another url shortener. The company announced the launch of the url shortener g.co, which is a new tool only for internal Google products or services.
Google users do not get the chance to create g.co urls, even if they would point to Google services. Only Google will make use of those urls in their products and services.
The only plausible reason for launching a second service is security. It is more likely that users will trust links if they now that their destination will be a Google owned property and service.
How does this new service compare to the existing goo.gl url shortener? The latter is a public service that anyone can use to shorten any kind of url.

To put it short:
  • g.co – Only point to Google services, no option to create
  • goo.gl – Can point to all web addresses, public creation
Gary Briggs, Google VP of Consumer Marketing confirms that the creation of a second internal url shortener is trust and security.
The shorter a URL, the easier it is to share and remember. The downside is, you often can’t tell what website you’re going to be redirected to. We’ll only use g.co to send you to webpages that are owned by Google, and only we can create g.co shortcuts. That means you can visit a g.co shortcut confident you will always end up at a page for a Google product or service.
It is however unclear where and how the new internal url shortener will be used by Google in the future. All we know at this point in time is that Google will start rolling out g.co urls soon.
What’s your take on this new url shortener in particular and url shortening services in general. Are they needed on today’s Internet?
I actually prefer the way Microsoft handles longer urls over url shorteners. Microsoft is using the go.microsoft.com subdomain to shorten long urls on their websites. The main advantage of this is that users see the Microsoft.com url in the address. The redirection itself is handled in the background.

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