Whatever happened to …

… Google’s URL Shortener?

Thanks go out to Peter Beens for this idea.  He sent me a Twitter message

.@dougpete, you’ll like this for your Whatever Happened To series…
The Google Cemetery https://t.co/DzDUwPnwfl— Peter Beens (@pbeens) December 6, 2018

How could I not want to check that out?  Peter is my personal (and should be yours) Google Guru.  After all, he wrote the book (or at least a pretty darn good web resource) Google A-Z.  I’ve referred to it a number of times on this blog like here.  It should be noted that Google has a love/hate relationship with the document!

The Google Cemetery is actually pretty big.  I had to make a choice of what to write about; Google Reader has already been done and I’ve used and miss many of the services. 

So, goo.gl.  What is it?  It’s one of a number of URL shorteners.  So, rather than having a long URL to share with someone, you use the shortener to make your long one a short one.  Here’s how it works.

There are a number of shorteners that are available in addition to Google’s.  In fact, this list shows 230 of them.  And no, I didn’t check them all.  Some should be familiar – bit.ly, tinyurl, ow.ly, …

And, for the programmers among us, it’s also possible to write your own shorteners.  There are plenty of resources available to help you out.

They’re arguably needed in these days of living in the cloud and the long, long, non-nonsensical URLs that are so common these days.  The negative part is that it’s not easily possible to know where clicking the short link will take you.  There are extensions to your browser that will reveal the original link for the cautiously paranoid.

I think that many of us used Google’s service.  I bounced between it and bit.ly.  Typically, I used Google’s when I was shortening something that was actually pointing somewhere in Google.  Plus, it was the default at times.  But, it’s going away … existing short URLs are supposed to continue but you can’t create any more.

For a Sunday, your thoughts please..

  • have you ever used Google’s URL shortener?
  • have you or do you use another service?
  • if you’re a Google user, what will you use now?
  • when someone sends you a link that has been shortened, are you wary?
  • please don’t confess to being old-school and that you type out those great big, long URLs
  • have you ever used Peter’s Google A-Z document?  (It’s Saturday morning as I type this and the love/hate relationship is currently set to hate!)
  • is a URL shortener more or less reliable to you than just clicking a work that contains a link like I’ve done in this post

Please take a few moments and share your thoughts in the comments below.  They can be as long as you want.

This is part of a regular Sunday series of memories.  You can check them all out here in case you missed one or two.  And, if you have an idea for a future post, be like Peter, and let me know.

This blog post was originally posted at:
https://bit.ly/2ULZTK1

If you find it anywhere else, it’s not original.


Author: dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: http://www.dougpeterson.ca Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dougpete I'm bookmarking things at: http://www.diigo.com/user/dougpete

3 thoughts on “Whatever happened to …”

  1. I mostly use bit.ly myself. Twitter uses its own shortener when you tweet a URL. I wish they wouldn’t as it sometimes adds a second level if you’ve already used one shortener in your post.

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