How to shorten a website URL? Use Google URL shortener – Goo.gl

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Are you an internet freak that always share a lots of websites to your friends, which obviously involved a lot of URL link? Or sometimes you simply want to share or show some websites to your friend but you can only send limited character messages i.e. SMS, and you wouldn’t want to type the whole URL to your friend which probably involved more than 50 characters? It doesn’t matter what’s the situation is, but if you are going to share some URL to your friend, you are always encouraged to use a URL shortener. If you doesn’t know what is an URL shortener, here you go: URL shortening is a technique on the World Wide Web where a provider makes a web page available under a very short URL in addition to the original address (source: Wikipedia). You might be wondering the use of it since there’s copy/paste and hell lot of ways of sharing URL, but sometimes you will just need it. You could just give the shortened URL to your friend through phone during urgent case; you also able to share some URL (or file) through the shortened one if you are publishing some kind of reading material for your readers.

URL shortener is not a new thing in World Wide Web, and if not mistaken it all started from tinyurl, and the current mainstream URL shortener would be bit.ly (not sure though, it’s based on my experience). Goo.gl, is a new URL shortener by Google (pretty obvious eh?) that did almost the same thing as the mentioned services, so there aren’t any new breakthrough in it, but it is very fresh as it just released not so long ago. But (Google products always a but huh?) it is not available to use except in their products, Google toolbar and Feedburner at the moment. I am not sure why they are doing this, but with the expert coders around the world, now we could just easily access and generate goo.gl URL without installing them. Here’s how:

Web-based Goo.gl generator

Of course it is not officially from Google since they decided to implement goo.gl in Toolbars and Feedburner only. Developed by Alexandre Gaigalas, this website is a very simple one to generate a goo.gl link (Check screenshot):

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Isn’t pretty simple to use and understand? Just paste the link you would like to share in the empty box (including http://), then click the ‘shorten’ button. There will be a new link generated below URL, and you can copy the shortened link to start sharing. Example (A triple As for my site XD):

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You can access and bookmark this website here.

Goo.gl Google Chrome Extension

If you happen to use Google Chrome (or other Chrome-based web browser), there is an extension by giakomino to use the goo.gl service. The process of getting it is pretty straight forward: Install the extension from here (with Google Chrome), and you will see an extra icon placed beside Google Chrome’s address bar (shown in below screenshot). Then just visit the site you would like to share, click the icon, and a goo.gl link will be generated. By default, the goo.gl will send to your clipboard as well, so you can just start pasting the link in your email or instant messenger. In the latest version, you can even share the link to Facebook or Twitter within the extension. Pretty nice eh? 

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Firefox Add-on – goo.gl lite 1.2

If Google Chrome has the extension for goo.gl, you can almost certain that there is an add-on for the famous Mozilla Firefox. Written by Matthew Flaschen, goo.gl lite just work smoothly and easily in Firefox. If you happen to use Firefox and wanted to get this plugin, head to here. Tick on the ‘Let me install this experimental add-on’, and add it to Firefox. After installation, right-click your Firefox toolbar, click "Customize…", and drag the Goo.gl button to your preferred position. Below is as per how goo.gl lite add-on looks on my Firefox:

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It works almost like the Google Chrome one, except it has not much extra functions beside auto-copy the link to clipboard, but still it is adequate for most of the users. Only one thing to complaint is that the button has no animation, which means that you wouldn’t know whether you have press it or not, even you had clicked on it. I am sure the author will fix this very soon. Nevertheless, it still works for me without problem.

Editor’s Note

Perhaps you does not aware, but URL shortening is becoming more popular nowadays, especially with the fast-paced developing social networking which involved a lot of resources sharing, and you can easily see those shortened URL in forums, IMs, Twitter etc. Even though Google has been late for getting this up, but it doesn’t mean a bad news for all internet users. So don’t hesitate, start sharing today!

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