URL Shortener Goes Public

Posted by Tim Lancaster | Google News

It hasn’t even been three weeks since Google rocked the boat by streaming search results with Google Instant, but the Big G is back in the news with another new toy for the surfing public: their very own URL shortener,, has gone live.

What advantages does have over existing URL shorteners? Speed, stability, and security, according to Google’s announcement at their Social Web Blog. No doubt those claims are true, and the convenience of archiving shortened URLs through a pre-existing Google account is appealing, but does Google have ulterior motives in jumping into such a well-established market for free services?

Google has recently become a social web juggernaut, integrating properties like Orkut and Blogger and services like Google Earth and Google Friend Connect. (Pundits are even beginning to clamor for Google to buy Twitter!) Given the ubiquity of URL shortening in the post-Twitter social web, I can think of many reasons Google might like access to that click data — to say nothing of bringing one more essential social-web service under the Google banner.

It was fun while it lasted, … but I drank the Google Kool-Aid a long time ago, and I’ll probably use until I find a reason not to. Will pre-existing URL shorteners find a way to hold onto their users, or are they just the latest business models to get pushed aside by Google’s social media blitz? Google isn’t talking, so only time will tell …

Google Instant Reviewed

This is very exciting news from Google. Now when you do a search at you will start to see your search results as you type, unless you turn off the feature or are surfing on a low-bandwidth connection.

By displaying actual search results in real-time for the partial phrases leading up to your intended search, Google is providing a more diversified search — and serving up a lot more search results, too.

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