Google's URL shortener is not new. It was launched in late 2009 and now it has become one of the best URL shortening service, rivaling Bit.ly. It is also one of the fastest URL shortening service. In this post we will tell you five tips, so that you can use the goo.gl service more effectively.
1. Web Interface
Although goo.gl is around one year old, the web interface is fairly new. The web interface can be accessed at goo.gl. It is very minimal and has a field where you can enter an URL to shorten it. If you are logged in to your Google account, you will also see statistics of URLs you have shortened recently.
2. Browser Extensions
The browser extensions lets you shorten the URL of the page you are veiwing, so that you can share it in Twitter etc. Extensions are available for Chrome, Firefox and Opera.
Chrome: You can install the Chrome extension from this page. After installation, you will find the icon to the right of the omnibar along with the other extensions. To shorten the URL of the page you are viewing, simply click on it and then click on Copy to copy the shortened URL to the clipboard. This extension also allows you to create QR codes and view statistics of the URL.
Firefox: The goo.gl extension for Firefox can be installed from this page. Compared to the Chrome extension, it is very featureless. It only allows for shortening the URL.
Opera: You can install the Opera extension from here. This extension also generates the QR code in addition to the shortened URL. However, unlike the other extensions they will be displayed on a new tab. This can be a bit irritating sometime.
3. Generate QR Code From Any goo.gl link
This is some sort of ester egg which Google built in to this service. If you have a goo.gl link, to get a QR code of that link, you can simply append .qr to the URL and enter that URL in your browser to get the URL.
Suppose, I have a link, goo.gl/DEgvd. If I want to get a QR code of that link, all that I have to do is append .qr to make it goo.gl/DEgvd.qr and go to that URL with a browser.
4. Get The Statistics Of Any goo.gl Link
As we have mentioned above, you can get statistics of your goo.gl links from the web interface. However, the statistics of all goo.gl links are public and anyone can access them.
Let us take an example again to see how we can do it. Again let us take the goo.gl link, goo.gl/DEgvd. If we want to see the statistics of this link - like how many have clicked on it, how many from which countries, OS etc., insert /info after goo.gl. So, we get goo.gl/info/DEgvd. Now, simply go to that URL to see the stats.
Google has recently made the goo.gl APIs public. So, if you are developing an application, you can make use of the APIs to integrate goo.gl better with your application. You can access the API here.
If you know more tips, let us know through the comments.