Google gives URL shortener its own site, touts performance and security

Meet goo.gl - Google's newest website

URL shorteners have become a ubiquitous presence on the web, largely due to the rise of Twitter. Tinyurl, Bit.ly and the like have come along to make those ugly long URLs look nice and neat in your 140-character Twitter posts. 

Since they've become so widely used, it only makes sense that the biggest Internet companies would make their own. That's what Google did last December when it introduced a shortener, but at first it was simply embedded in Google products such as News, Blogger, Maps and Picasa Web Albums.

It wasn't until just today that the Google service got its own website: http://goo.gl/

"We don’t intend to overload goo.gl with features, but we do want it to be the stablest, most secure, and fastest URL shortener on the web," Google software engineer Muthu Muthusrinivasan writes in a blog post

Google boasted of "near 100% uptime since our initial launch," and says the service is even more stable than it was when it first launched. Speed is double what it was nine months ago, and the service includes "automatic spam detection based on the same type of filtering technology we use in Gmail."

There are already numerous viable URL shorteners on the market, but who would bet against Google to dominate yet another category on the Web?

"There are many shorteners out there with great features, so some people may wonder whether the world really needs yet another," Muthusrinivasan writes. "As we said late last year, we built goo.gl with a focus on quality. With goo.gl, every time you shorten a URL, you know it will work, it will work fast, and it will keep working. You also know that when you click a goo.gl shortened URL, you’re protected against malware, phishing and spam using the same industry-leading technology we use in search and other products."

There are already goo.gl extensions available for the Firefox and Google Chrome browsers, and Google plans to release an API. "You’ll be able to use the API to shorten URLs, expand URLs, and view analytics from directly within your own applications," Google said.

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