Why did Google Discontinue its URL Shortener?

Why did Google Discontinue its URL Shortener?

Google discontinued its URL shortener service in 2019. The URL shortener was used by many people to shorten long links, and this made it easier to share links on social media and other platforms. Google announced on March 30, 2018, the discontinuation of the service on March 30, 2019. On April 13, 2018, anonymous users and users who have never created short links would not be able to generate new short links via the goo.gl console. They recommended users switch to other popular URL Shorteners. Google shut down its service to focus on Firebase Dynamic Links or FDL. FDLs are smart URLs that allow you to send existing and potential users to any location within an iOS, Android, or web app. Smart URLs are a feature built into T.LY that allows users to redirect links to multiple locations depending on location, device, or browser.

Google URL Shortener History

Google URL Shortener was launched in December 2009 and was initially intended for use with Google Toolbar and Feedburner. However, the service was later made available to all users. They offered detailed analytics and a way to manage short links in their console application. To many users, Google’s URL shortener was the default URL shortener they used. Users enjoyed using Google’s URL shortener because it allowed users to shorten URLs for any website. It also allowed users to track how many people clicked on the shortened URLs. Over the 10 years of service, billions of short URLs were created. Fortunately, to not break all the short URLs, Google still allows all the short URLs to redirect to their intended destination. This is why URL shorteners must stay alive even if they no longer allow new short links to be created.

Is Google URL Shortener Safe?

Google’s URL shortener is a useful tool that makes complex links much more user-friendly, but safety remains a concern. Many users often don’t think twice when they shorten and share a URL, not realizing how easily malicious actors can intercept or modify the link to inject malware or ransomware into unsuspecting users’ systems. Since shortened URLs lack transparency and are difficult to trace, it can be hard to ascertain their source and purpose, making them ideal for backdoor attacks. To ensure safety, it’s important for users to practice caution when using URL shorteners and only follow links from verified sources. Whenever you are in doubt about a short link, we recommend using a tool like Link Unshortener to extend any short URL to see the destination to make sure it’s safe.

Alternative to Google’s URL Shortener

A few options are available if you’re looking for an alternative to Google’s URL shortener. One popular option is T.LY, which allows you to manage your short links. Another option is TinyURL, which also offers basic features. However, T.LY also provides users with click-tracking and analytics, making it a good choice for businesses or individuals who want to track the performance of their links. In addition to being a reliable URL shortener, T.LY provides users with smart links, custom domains, and more. So whether you’re looking for more features or just want to try something different, there are plenty of options. Whichever URL shortener you choose, ensure it offers the features you need.

How do I shorten a URL for free?

Shortening URLs has become a popular way to make long links more shareable on social media platforms and in text messages. Fortunately, the process of doing so is often free and simple. There are many URL shortening services available, most of which allow you to enter the web address that you wish to shorten and then generate a shortened version for you to copy and paste. Services such as T.LY and TinyURL can be used with just a few clicks. These shorteners create an alias for the original link that will direct users to the desired website or page when clicked. Furthermore, some services even provide analytics for your link, allowing you to track how often users have clicked it. No matter what kind of URL shortening service you use, it’s an easy way to make sharing links easier and more efficient.

Why Google Shutdowns Projects

Google is constantly experimenting with different products and features, sometimes including shutting down products that aren’t working out. There are a few different reasons why this might happen. First, the product may not meet user needs or generate enough engagement. If a product isn’t being used, it doesn’t make sense to maintain it. Second, the product may be duplicative of something else that Google offers. If another product already performs the same or similar function, there’s no need to keep both. Third, the product may be outdated or no longer relevant. Technology changes rapidly, and what was once innovative can quickly become obsolete. Finally, shutting down a product may simply be part of Google’s overall strategy. The company has a history of launching products to sell them later on. If a product isn’t doing well, it may make more sense to sell it or shut it down rather than continue to invest in it. Whatever the reason, it’s usually for a good reason when Google shuts down a product.

So to summarize, Google has discontinued the URL shortener because they wanted to migrate users to Firebase Dynamic Links. The company believes that there are better free alternatives available such as T.LY. Google realized they were better off focussing on paying users vs. a free option. Over the years, Google has been known to shut down projects that millions of users use.


Author Tim Leland

Tim Leland

With over 15 years of experience, Tim Leland has been developing software that millions worldwide rely on. In 2019, he founded T.LY, aspiring to create the world's premier URL-shortening service. Recently, the platform has witnessed a remarkable increase in its popularity. Under Tim's expert direction, T.LY has transformed into one of the industry's most reliable and esteemed URL shorteners, serving millions of users globally.

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