Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Goo.gl is awesome, but, is it usable?

needs a lot of work!

It’s been a while since Google fully unveiled their URL shortening service, but, to be frank it still is not completely usable [Though I have been using it from January mainly because I am a Google fan boy]. If Google wants to capture the URL shortening market, they clearly need to do a lot more. Goo.gl is faster than any other service (including Bit.ly and I tested it), but, It’s devoid of many features and workarounds which its competitors provide.
The QR code Easter egg was cool, but, I feel that Google hastened a bit with this service, they should have brought it out after they developed the API for it. As of now, Twitter clients do not support Goo.gl since it does not have an API and this is a huge downer. Majority of the users who tend to use Goo.gl would be on Twitter and if they can’t make use of the service while on a Twitter client – Google really need to buck up.

Awesome! But, do we really need it?


Here’s what I feel Google should do with its URL service.

  • Google is already popular on the internet and they can make use of their reputation to partner with 3rd party web-applications like Tweetmeme, ShareThis and the likes and convince them to use Goo.gl within their services. 
  • TinyURL and other services provide a custom alias for your links where you can create one like http://tinyurl.com/pcgeekblog ; sadly, this still hasn’t been added to Goo.gl. There are a number of features like this which aren’t included.
  • In the URL shortening ecosystem, there are many services that provide lots of features when compared to Goo.gl, being minimalistic does not mean that something should be devoid of features. If Google puts its mind into it – Goo.gl can dominate Twitter and... The web.
P.S. Google has an amazing search engine, but, you can't search through the URLs you have created before and you inevitably have to create a new short URL to a link for which you already have one.


The author of this post can be mailed at gouthaman@pcgeekblog.com