I’m not quite sure what to make of this, but Google has launched its own URL shortener service called Goo.gl. Obviously, there are some pros and cons to this type of service.
One drawback that I see is that the service is only available through the Google Toolbar and Feedburner. I can’t shorten an URL directly like I can with other services like Tinyurl and Bit.ly. Secondly, Bit.ly offers tracking of your short URLs; Goo.gl does not (that I see). It would be fantastic if Goo.gl was integrated into Google Analytics and provided nice robust tracking for links shortened and used on social site such as Twitter and Facebook. Also, it would be great if these types of shortened links generated by Goo.gl also showed up as non re-direct links in Google webmaster tools. Just imagine, that many more shortened links showing up to help your inbound link building efforts.
An obvious benefit is that it is owned by Google. That means the service likely won’t go away. There is some stability there. But this can also be seen as a drawback. Will Google at some point decide to force all webmasters to use the URL shortening service? Good question from Andy Beal.
And another drawback, how many non-core services does Google offer that actually go somewhere? Over the years Google has had some great services offered to customers (all in beta of course!) and many of them quietly lasted and even more of them shut down and are no longer available.
Another potential issue that comes to mind is that there are already a ton of URL shorteners on the market right now. What does Goo.gl offer that the others don’t? Besides direct shortening from its toolbar and Feedburner? And besides it displays and uses the Google brand? Gee, I’m counting more drawbacks than benefits. Have you done the math on Goo.gl? Time will really tell on this one if Goo.gl will have long term staying power and user acceptance.