Google is ending its URL shortener service goo.gl, from March 2018 and will the take a year to completely phase out the tool. Google URL shortener began back in 2009 to help make it easier to share links and monitor online traffic. However, the search giant has now decided to discontinue with goo.gl and will replace it with Firebase Dynamic Links (FDL) – according to the company’s blog post.
While Google may be stopping their service of turning long links into short links, there are other options who make for the same – and allow you to customise it as well. Most of them have free trail versions and you only have to pay to use added features like data and analysis. Here are some URL shortening services to replace goo.gl:
Bitly is a URL shortening service that offers a range of services that are simple and easy to use. Anyone can use Bitly anonymously with the company’s offer of a free limited account which also allows for customised shortened URLs, track click rates and information on top referrals. However, the free account is limited to 500 branded links and 10,000 non-branded links. Custom pricing and enterprise-grade accounts get to make unlimited branded links along with getting richer reports.
Polr is an open-source project that enables people with technical know-how to host their own URL shortener. It can be accessed via the GitHub Polr project page. It offers a demo page for those that want to test out the basic interface. Those without programming abilities could use it as-is but those with abilities could even fork it.
Rebrandly URL shortener belives that brands – whether in the form of a product or person – gets more value out of customising links to content referencing them on the web. These links could be used on their sown site, business card or advertisements. The platform also provides tools for tracking the popularity of each link along with support for QR code generation. A free account on the platform allows for 1,000 links on one custom domain.
Starting around 2002, TinyURL creates shorter URLs that will never expire or you could customise one yourself – however it would start with tinyurl.com/. The platform has a toolbar button that allows you to generate a short link from the current webpage on screen. On TinyURL’s main page, there are instructions to drag a link from the page into your toolbar’s links section. That link is actually a little script. From any web page, you can click that link and it will take you back to TinyURL where a shortened link will have already been generated for the page where you started. While TinyURL is free and can be used anonymously, it does not contain any reports or information about links and their corresponding popularity.