Google has launched a new URL shortening service, which they claim will make the Internet a safer place. With the increase in use of Twitter, and other social networking services, there has been an increase in the use of URL shortening services. Rather than having a long URL string in posts (often which have a maximum character limit), you can punch the URL into a site, and they will give you a shortened version.
According to Google, here are the major advantages:
• Stability: Google’s scalable, multi-datacenter infrastructure provides great uptime and a reliable service to our users.
• Security: As we do with web search, shortened URLs are automatically checked to detect sites that may be malicious and warn users when the short URL resolves to such sites.
• Speed: At Google we like fast products and we’ve worked hard to ensure this service is quick. We’ll continue to iterate and improve the speed of Google Url Shortener.
You may be asking yourself why Google would be doing this, however with the rise of social networks like Twitter, people are clicking a large number of these links. They could be heading to dodgy sites without knowing it. Or, when spreading links, they could be spreading incorrect links, which would not only hurt branding, but also make it tougher for Google to crawl the web. If a link shortening service goes under, the links will no longer be valid. This hurts both users and Google.
At the moment, this service can only be used within a Google toolbar and Feedburner. Google mentions that if it proves to be successful, then they may expand it to a wider audience.