Google URL Shortener Now Live at Goo.gl

On September 30th Google officially launched a full version of its URL Shortener for Google, now available to the public through its website at www.goo.gl. The new Shortener now has lots of 

additional features, including monitoring history and tracking analytics. First introduced last December, Google URL Shortener turns long URLs into short ones (http://www.bullseyemedia becomes goo.gl/wECC), a popular way of sharing links on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.

Google admits that there are lots of URL shortening services already out there, however, those services haven’t quite stood up to the task, according Google, who claims that all goo.gl links are protected from malware. Now, an official Google product, Google URL Shortener provides users with the history of links shortened that can be checked upon through their Google accounts (the shortened URLs have a details tab placed next to them), which offers analytical features to users as well.

So how can Google URL Shortener affect SEO if at all?

From a link building standpoint, according to Google’s Matt Cutts, the shortener uses a 301 (permanently moved) to redirect to the destination URL. Therefore, the act of sharing a link on social networks and the resulting click-throughs could present benefits for the downstream websites.

Goo.gl might be used by Google’s ranking algorithm and become a strong factor in real-time search results, and even regular search results, if the shortener ever proves popular.

Getting the data on what links are being shared and clicked, Google can see what’s trending, and use this as a ranking factor. By examining posts on social networking sites, Google can analyse the content, analyse the destination site, and evaluate the volume of traffic sent to that site for that topic over time across multiple mentions. So potentially, Google can now identify trends based on sharing and use it as part of their ranking algorithm.

Once you’re signed into your Google account, you’ll have public, real-time analytics data available to you. So whilst this will give you a historical list of URLs you have shortened, with some basic info, including traffic over time, referrers, and visitor profiles (by browser, platform and country), this will also provide Google with some valuable demographic data.

We will get more coverage on goo.gl, but given the fact that 180 million people use Gmail, Google URL Shortener’s prospects seem to be rather bright, and it has had a perfect uptime thus far.

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