Bit.ly has been dominating the short-link business for a while now thanks to Twitter and friends. In the mean time other contenders have appeared such as is.gd and su.pr. Now Google has officially jumped on the band wagon. Google’s URL shortener has been around for a while now, but previously it was only available using the Google Toolbar or Feedburner. Today they launched the site goo.gl and it integrates with the rest of Google’s services seamlessly.
Goo.gl – Google Without the E
The new short-link website goo.gl works much like all other shorteners and it is easy to use. Nothing new to see here, but let’s look at what it does have.
After you create a short-link, Google will keep track of it for you. If you are logged into your Google account all of your short-link information will be stored right on your front goo.gl page. Bit.ly does the same thing but it also requires you to register; it’s a lot more convenient with Goo.gl since almost everyone already has a Google account.
Goo.gl Generated QR Codes
One thing really groovy about goo.gl is that it automatically generates a scannable QR code for every short-link that is created. To view just the QR code for your URL, simply Add .qr to the end of the short-link.
For example, if http://goo.gl/MVIf is a short-link for groovyPost.com – to generate a QR code that will use that short-link just visit http://goo.gl/MVIf.qr. The one in the screenshot below will take you to groovyHacks.com
Convenient Browser Extensions
With Chrome there is an extension available that creates a button near your options menu. One Click on the button will instantly turn the address of the website you are viewing into a goo.gl short-link.
Pickup the goo.gl extension for Chrome here: http://goo.gl/iE9r
Firefox also has an add-on here: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/55308/
It works very similarly to the Chrome extension.