Last March, Google URL shortener let users know that it would be winding down its service. Access was immediately cut off for new and anonymous users. While the platform’s other users were given a year to say goodbye to their Google short URLs and come up with a new link management strategy.
Come April 2019, users of the Google URL shortener will no longer be able to create new links. (Though it’s worth noting that all Google short URLs will continue to redirect to their intended location.) The deadline is closing in so nows the perfect time to migrate to a new service. We’re going to tell you why that service should be Rebrandly and how you can get started in just a few minutes.
What’s next for users of the Google URL shortener
According to a statement released at the time of the announcement, Goo.gl URL shortener is winding down so that the company can focus its energy on Firebase, which is “a comprehensive mobile development platform”. Simply put, developers use it to make apps.
Firebase provides developers with the opportunity to create dynamic links, which can be used to direct users to a specific location within their web apps. However, this is a far cry from the traditional Google URL shortener and current Google short URLs won’t be transferred over to Firebase.
For those who have been using the Google URL shortener to shorten long, ugly links and track their engagement online, Firebase won’t be of much use. Instead, social media managers, digital marketers and customer support teams from businesses of all sizes can start using branded links to build brand awareness, recognition, and trust.
The future of short links
When news about the Google URL shortener came out, some observers suggested the decision could be linked to the increasing association between Google short URLs and spam.
Generic URL shorteners are often used by spammers to disguise links to malware and spyware. This can bring their reputation into disrepute and, for this reason, generic short links can be banned by certain websites and email servers. There are various accounts online of people having issues posting Google short URLs to websites and social media sites, like Facebook.
This issue goes far beyond the Google URL shortener. There is a trend toward using customized, branded links. They have already become popular with big brands across every industry, from Jaguar and Lamborghini to Panda Express and Neustar.
Custom links are created using a domain owned by you or your business. Because you own the domain, you have full control over your links and no outside party can use this domain to create short links. This means your links won’t get banned from any platforms – unless you are actually sharing spammy content. There is also no fear that you’ll lose your links when a shortening service closes down.
As platforms become more and more likely to blacklist generic short links, more and more brands will start using branded links to avoid this. So if you’re looking for a new service to migrate to now that the Google URL shortener is shutting down, make sure to move to a service which provides branded short links.
Reasons to migrate from Goo.gl to Rebrandly
With Rebrandly, marketers have access to the same features that the Google URL shortener provided:
- Link analytics
- Link shortening
But there are lots of other advanced features and benefits provided too:
- On-brand, SEO-friendly link shortening
- Customizable slash tags (that’s the bit after the /)
- Real-time click data
- UTM builder
- Retargeting scripts for your links
- Custom reports
- Bulk link creation
- The ability to edit the destination URL of your short links
Rebrandly was set up specifically to allow people to customize their links. This allows them to showcase their brand name and indicate what kind of content they are sharing. For example, the team here often uses the link Rebrandly.support/Contact – you can guess where that leads, right?
The structure of a branded link can tell people a lot and it is a great way to build trust online. Nobody will fear that your links might lead to spam or other malicious content if they see your business name. And because of this increased trust – as well as their visual appeal – branded links can receive up to 39% more click-throughs.
How to make the move to Rebrandly
As of April 13th, Goo.gl short links will continue to redirect to their intended destination – but users will no longer be able to create new links. So you don’t have to worry about your old Goo.gl short links. And that provides plenty of time to get set up on and adjusted to an alternative platform like Rebrandly so you can start creating new links.
After signing up to Rebrandly, it takes just a few clicks to buy a domain for your custom short links. It’s affordable too, with lots of domains available for just $2. Alternatively, if you already own a domain that you would like to use, you can easily hook it up.
Our guide to best practices for creating links with Rebrandly is a good place to start when becoming familiar with our platform. It provides insights into what to consider when choosing a domain too.
Once you’ve got your domain set up, you can check out the platform with our free plan – or if your business is well-established, you can choose one of our paid plans and take advantage of their advanced features.
If you have a sizable business with a large team behind you, check out our enterprise guide for an in-depth walkthrough managing permissions, teams and the links created across your organization. Or, take a look at this handy checklist if you want to to get started fast.
Once you’re ready to go, Rebrandly has browser extensions, apps and integrations that will make link shortening fit smoothly into your workflows. The automatic link detection feature of our Chrome plug-in will make your marketing team extra efficient and productive. The Rebrandly support team is available to provide help when you’re starting out and any time after that.
If there is anything else you have questions on, check out the ‘Get Started’ section of our knowledge base or book a call with our sales team below.
- Link management: What it is and why you need it
- What is link retargeting? Increase your TOFU traffic by 500%
- The 6 best URL shorteners and how to choose one
- The best free URL shortener APIs
This Article is About:
- Google URL shortener alternatives
- Goo.gl shortener alternatives
- What will happen to Google short URLs?
- Migrating from the Google URL shortener