Google Enters the URL Shortening Business

October 1, 2010

Facebook, Google For Business

Web address or URL shortening business is getting hotter by the day. Everybody wants to have their own shortening service and Google is no exception. Google is the latest company to introduce a URL shortening service, While is an easy and straight forward service with some nice analytics and even a QR or Quick Response generator it is lacking the ability to customise your short URL.

Customising a short URL is a great way to identify the owner or the target for the URL. It is also much more descriptive than just a series of random letters or numbers. Customised URL’s are offered by currently the most popular URL shortening service, The customisation feature offers you the same advantages as owning your own domain name or your Twitter and Facebook user names. Once you have secured your own customised short URL it’s your’s to keep and control; nobody else can use the same URL. This is an important feature if you manage a company or a big brand name.

For instance, when I became an affiliate for GoDaddy I tried to register but I couldn’t because it was already taken; by Mashable. So in this case, and there are lots of others, GoDaddy does not own or control the shortened version of their domain name but another company does. If the company was not as reputable as Mashable I would be a little concerned if I were Mr. Bob Parsons. Twitter and Facebook were smart enough (and quick enough) to register their own URL’s so they can use them linked to their own websites. For the purpose of emphasising this point I just registered See what I mean? I will however gladly hand it over to PepsiCo should they want it.

My advice to all marketing executives out there is to go and secure all your important customised URL’s today even if you don’t need to use them immediately. This way at least you control them and not your competitor. Start with your own name. For instance I have registered which points to my website. Now, it might not be shorter than my normal URL but I sure want to own it. The same goes for my book, which is not really that much shorter than the original URL, however I do feel a lot better knowing that I own the version as well.

Here is a great example how URL shortening works the way it should work. As you might have noticed I am publishing a Global Social Media interview series in this blog but its URL is a monster ( Phew! Using a shortening service I was able to get a much more user friendly URL for it: The same goes for my Facebook Page. As I haven’t chosen my Facebook URL yet I still have the long and cumbersome version With customised URL shortening I can now use the much nicer instead.

So, regarding the service, as good as it is,  I’m quite sure that sooner or later they will come up with a URL customisation option as well. I only hope it stays free like and several other great services such as tiny.url, or

Have a nice short Friday at work,
Kris Olin, MSc(econ.)

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About Kris Olin

Kris Olin, MSc (Econ.) * Editor in Chief at Social Media Revolver * Web Designer * Author of the Facebook Advertising Guide. Follow Kris on Twitter, LinkedIn and .

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3 Responses to “Google Enters the URL Shortening Business”

  1. TechSupport Says:

    “For the purpose of emphasising this point I just registered See what I mean? I will however gladly hand it over to PepsiCo should they want it.”

    Sorry to revive an old post, but this is still relevant as much today as when originally posted.
    Actually you can’t hand it over to PepsiCo, or even yourself. This is one of the frustrating things about most URL shorteners. Now that you’ve pointed it to, it is fixed. You cannot change where a a links points to once it has been used. I’ve mis-typed one before only to find I couldn’t correct my mistake, it is very frustrating.


    • KrisOlin Says:

      Thanks for your valid comments TechSupport!

      This is always an important matter and not many companies take it seriously. I always tell my clients to register all possible free, as well as paid domains and web URL’s which are related to them. They don’t have to use them all, but it is useful to have the control over them so that their competitors don’t mess things up.

      Regarding the fixed redirection in and other services the work around on that is to have a permanent redirection on the target page. There’s really nothing else to be done. Except of course deleting the shortened link altogether.


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