Google URL Shortener

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Hey, if you’d like to share the URL of this article with your friends, you’re more than welcome; here it is: https://www.vodahost.com/vodatalk/ebusiness-concept-development-talk/59453-create-short-urls-google-url-shortener.html

Good luck; that’s quite a long URL, isn’t it? It’s about 100 characters long and unless it was presented to you in a form that was easy to click, or copy and paste, it might actually be quite difficult to communicate to somebody else: “um … double-u double-u double-u dot vodahost dot com forward-slash vodatalk forward slash ebusiness hyphen …” etc. etc. etc. until one of you has had enough.

I went searching on Amazon.com for a new book recently and by the time I’d gotten to a relevant list of books the URL in the address bar looked like this:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_kk_2?rh=i%3Astripbooks%2Ck%3Ahtml+5&keywords=html+5&ie=UTF8&qid=1286807047

It’s verging on a little too long to be easily communicable, let’s say if I wanted to get the opinion from a friend or forum member which book would be the best to buy. Sure, short URLs like https://www.vodahost.com are easy to remember and are easy to tell people about but with the Content Management Systems of today’s Web 2.0 where each URL can represents a data hierarchy, a command structure, a transaction path and/or session information, URLs can get quite long, complicated and ugly. Not to mention that some e-mail programs add breaks in long URLs, making it the responsibility of the recipient to copy and past the link back together.

It would be better for everybody if you could shorten this and other lengthy URLs to something that is easier to communicate, say if you happened to be telling a neighbor over the fence about a website you had discovered earlier in the day.

Thankfully though, as of September 2010, everybody’s favourite web giant Google are now offering an URL Shortening Service

Basically, what the URL shortener does is make a URL shorter and using Google’s is incredibly easy. Check it out at: http://www.goo.gl

1] Go to goo.gl and paste the long URL you wish to shorten into the input box at the top of the page. Click “Shorten” and to the right of the box you’ll see a short goo.gl URL that can be copied and pasted anywhere you’d like to share it.

2] If you’d like to track the analytics of your shortened URL, please sign in to your Google Account before shortening your URL. Your shortened URL will automatically be added to your goo.gl history.

It really is as simple as that. One thing is clear. It is easier and more useful to copy a short URL from an e-mail or blog post than a URL that is hundreds of characters long. It’s easier to read out loud too., easier to tell people about. Putting shortened URLs in your website can save on space and make your website load faster which means a better experience for your visitors.

The really great thing about this service being offered by Google is that it is assured. Suppose that you had created loads of short URLs and posted them all over the place and then the service offering the URL shortening service shut down. All the links that you had spent time creating and posting would be lost and purposeless. I think we can all agree; Google isn’t going anywhere fast.

Shortening a URL is really useful on a service like Facebook and Twitter or any other social bookmarking service, where your tweets or posts have to be a certain length. There is every probability that you might want to tweet about a URL you’ve found than is actually longer than the  amount of characters you are allowed to use to tweet about it.

Shortening URLs are great for affiliate marketing too, so that you can disguise an affiliate marketing link and make your page look less like a sales page. Of course, Google offers protection against links to spam pages or anything that may be dangerous so your safety is in good hands.

So, if you’d like to share the URL of this article with your friends, you’re more than welcome; here it is … We’ve made it a little more bite-size using the Google URL shortener and now you can find this article at: http://goo.gl/fuYi

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