Google to discontinue its URL shortener console next year

Share

For those unaware, goo.gl is a URL shortening service offered by Google that was introduced in December 2009 and initially used for Google Toolbar and Feedburner before going public in September 2010. Google is replacing its own service, goo.gl, with Firebase Dynamic Links (FDL) starting April 13th. The existing users of goo.gl console can manage all their short links and their analytics through the goo.gl console during until March 30, 2019.

Google also asked their users to consider using app-centric Firebase Dynamic Links (FDL) or similar popular services like Bitly and Ow.ly as an alternative. The best example of Firebase Dynamic Links is how you can transfer navigation information from Google Maps on its desktop website to the Google Maps Android or iOS app. "Previously created links will continue to redirect to their intended destination".

On Friday, software engineer Michael Hermanto announced via the Google Developers blog that Google is shutting down goo.gl in the coming weeks. Spammers started to use the services to obfuscate the target URL and pass spam detection tools and services at the same time. In short, FDLs are a far more robust solution for short links than previous deep link versions and a better all-round solution in general. In the meantime the service will continue to operate and users can still create short links until the 30th of March, 2019.

The move will have an impact on both marketing departments and malware authors alike, both ardent users of Google's URL shortening service.

As for developers, FDL short links will automatically detect the user's platform and send the user to either the web or your app, whichever is appropriate.

Share