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As Goo.gl winds down, now is the time to set up your custom URL shortener


Late last month, Google announced that it will bring its goo.gl URL shortener to an end. From this week, its service won’t be available to new or anonymous users. While current users won’t be able to use it come March 2019.

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If you’re a fateful user of the service don’t worry, you’ll be able to find an alternative that will make you forget all about goo.gl. At Rebrandly, we’ve always advocated that branded short links are better and now it’s the time for marketers to come on board and set up their own custom URL shortener through our service.

services providing custom url shortener infographic

Google is shutting down its URL shortener to focus efforts on Firebase, which is is a mobile platform that helps developers make apps. It will not be transferring users’ Goo.gl links to the Firebase console and its Firebase Dynamic Links will be a great option for developers who want to create links that direct users to any location within their iOS, Android or web apps. But for marketers and other everyday users of URL shorteners, it’s not ideal.

However, now marketers can up their game with a custom URL shortener which boosts brand recognition, builds trust with online audiences and allows users to manage and control every aspect of their links. With Rebrandly, marketers get the same functionality as Google’s URL shortener, but with many more benefits for their brand. So crisis averted!

custom url shortener meme

The chances are you’ve been using the Goo.gl shortener to make your links smaller for social media and SMS messages. But with Rebrandly, you can take this further by making each link memorable, visually appealing and a truly on-brand touchpoint for your business.

Why make the move to a custom URL shortener?

Links are on-brand and customizable:

Rebrandly was set up specifically to give marketers and other internet users a way to create and share meaningful links that feature their brand’s name and a keyword in the slashtag. So far, lots of big brand names have taken the opportunity to do just that.

Land Rover is doing it:

Panda Express is doing it:

panda express using custom url shortener

And Neustar is doing it:

It’s simple to buy a domain through Rebrandly – and quite affordable with many options available for $2. Or you can easily hook up one that you already own.

And as you can see from the above examples, there’s a wide choice of domain options that you can use to spread your brand message.

custom url shortener explained

Being able to switch out the randomly generated letters at the end of your link and add a keyword is also hugely beneficial.

It’s easy for your audience to remember and type out, making it ideal for audio. It’s SEO-friendly. And it also gives your audience an indication of where your link will lead them. Sharing professional, branded links builds trust in your content and can increase click-through rates by up to 39%.

custom link shortener use case

Branded links provide marketers a strong CTA to include in their messages, whether they are delivered via SMS, over social media or as part of your offline marketing campaigns.

Rebrandly offers UTM tracking:

If you’re using Google’s URL shortener, the chances are you like to keep a close eye on your click data.

custom URL shortener meme

In Rebrandly, each click is counted in real-time. This lets you see which links are performing best and provides knowledgeable insights into what content works.

You can also take this a step further and add UTM parameters to each link you create so you can figure out which campaigns, channels, marketing activities and keywords offer the best ROI.

Link retargeting is also a great feature, which allows you to add retargeting pixels to your short links and present ads to those who clicked on curated content or media coverage from a third party website.

Soon, we’ll be launching a custom report feature for our paid plans too, so now is a great time to migrate to our custom URL shortener.

Custom URLs easily fit with your brand’s procedures:

To make the most of a link management platform, it’s a good idea to use it across your business – for marketing, customer support, admin and sales invoices etc. This will result in better organization, tracking and management of your links.

custom url shortener for whole team

It is possible to set up different workspaces for your teams and varying permissions for your employees and clients. This will allow for oversight, as well as team collaboration.

Luckily, we’ve also got some convenient ways to incorporate Rebrandly into your daily workflow to get the whole team using it.

We’ve got browser extensions available to customers using Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari. Once installed, our automatic link detection means you just need to hover over a link to shorten it. Our Android and iOS apps also make it easy to create links while on-the-go.

custom url shortener bowser extension

While our automatic link detection feature is dead handy, Rebrandly is also integrated with lots of great marketing tools to allow for ease of use within your favorite social media marketing platforms like MeetEdgar, SocialPilot, Bulkly, SocialBee, and Viraltag. Our integration with Zapier also allows you to use Rebrandly with hundreds of other apps to automate tasks.

Beyond this, if you want to integrate your custom URL shortener with your own tool, we maintain an updated set of APIs that you can access at any time.

To protect your brand:

The more you use Rebrandly, the more control your business will have over its links.

Because you own the domain name, there’s no fear that you’ll lose your links if a link shortener decides to shut down. Your links are also less likely to end up blacklisted because no spammers can access your domain for their links.

Link management also offers security in terms of your brand image. If a misleading or damaging link is shared by one of your employees, the option to edit the destination URL at a later time can minimize damage to your reputation.


If after reading this far, Rebrandly doesn’t float your boat, feel free to check out our list of the other best URL shorteners out there.

custom url shortener gif

But for those of you who are on board, everything you need to get set up on Rebrandly is available over on the ‘Get started’ section of our knowledge base.

From the end of March 2019, Goo.gl short links will continue to redirect to their intended destination but users will no longer be able to create new links. That’s plenty of time to get set up on and adjusted to an alternative platform like Rebrandly.

Further Reading:

This Article is About:

  • Alternatives to Google URL shortener
  • Migrating to a custom URL shortener
  • Moving to Rebrandly
  • Goo.gl alternatives
Louisa works on putting together creative and useful content for Rebrandly customers to read. Though she spends a lot of time reading and writing online, she still loves to buy the Sunday papers.