goo.gl another amazing tool from Google
Last December, Google introduced the Google URL Shortener (goo.gl) but only as part of Google Toolbar and Feedburner. Gradually, they have added it to many other Google products. Finally, as of September 30, 2010, it has a stand alone website – http://goo.gl/. Now it’s easier to incorporate into your social media strategy.
Google’s not the first to create a URL shortener, what’s so different about it? According to their blog, it won’t have lots of bells and whistles. They are focusing on stability, security and speed.
- Stability – extensive testing and maintenance has led to near 100% uptime
- Security – each click is protected from malware, phishing and spam, similar to that found in Gmail
- Speed – speed has already doubled since its introduction last December
If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to create a Google Account. Once you’ve signed in, you will see all of your shortened URL’s. To view analytics, click “details” next to one of the URL’s. You can view public, real-time analytics data, complete with traffic over time and top referrers. It also displays visitor profiles which includes countries, browsers and platforms.
First and foremost, use the goo.gl URL Shortener for social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The simple format makes it easy to understand and the comprehensive data makes it an essential tool, especially for social media, which can be difficult to track and monetize.
For most online publishers, social media sites have become a high source of referrals, but you may not be able to distinguish what links are actually driving traffic to your website. With goo.gl and any other URL shortener, now we know which links and conversations are driving traffic.
Room for Improvement
One thing goo.gl doesn’t offer is some type of customization or vanity URL’s. Bit.ly rolled out that option several months ago and definitely has the advantage over goo.gl, for now. Knowing Google as we do, customization is probably coming soon.