Those were the tinyurl times, when there existed as the major player in URL shortening service. Tinyurl was used excessively by everyone, even the customer technical support helplines like Microsoft etc used that extensively. Then came the twitter world, in which only 140 chars were required and people wanted to share links more often. The domain name itself takes up 11 chars and you are only left with 129 chars to tweet for.

So then many URL shortening services came up from the hood. , are the famous which are being used today and they are also API-ed with Twitter. The trend did not settle down with few services and finally digg came with its own URL shortening service. April 2,2009 was the date Digg bar was launched . It used an iFrame to display the actual side. Many SEO gurus claimed that Digg bar or any other services like this do not pass on the SEO juice to the host site. However there is a trick to remove such kind of annoying bars if you wish

Well the trend continued and which dragged google into this. Finally Google Labs introduced this URL shortering service as Google Short Links and opened it for Public Domains. So the domains which are added to Google Apps can add this service in their control panel and get started. This made things very simpler for the website owners who do not want to rely on third-party applications, yet want shorter URLs.

Getting Started

1) Goto Google Labs product called Google Short Links.

2) There you will see “Add it Now” button and it will let you add your domain. Please be sure that your domain is already registered for Google Apps.

3) Once you add it, Google will ask you to choose a subdomain for your links. It is going to be like your Link short service’s control panel. So choose something short and sweet.

4) Now when you add this subdomain, Google will ask you to change CNAME records under your domain control panel. Please follow the instructions as stated.

5) After you complete the CNAME entry, That will all,  you are done !!

So now your Links can be accessed using the subdomain you choose like . You can also search links which you created in the past, and statistics of the clicks etc. However there can be changed that you do not want this srevice to be public and want to create the short URLs yourself, so follow the steps below :

Restricting Public Access

1) Browse to your Domains Dashboard for Google Apps. (, there you will find a Lab app called Short links.

2) Clicking on that would open its settings page. Now click on “Additional Short Links Settings”.

3) Check the option “Only administrators may create new links”. There are other settings as well, with which you might want to play around.

I think that should be all good to get your URL shortening service up & running.
Stay Digified !!
Sachin Khosla

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