Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Google Short Links - Give Your Google Docs A More Professional URL

A while back I discovered Google Short Links. This is an add-on for Google Apps that allows your domain to have a URL shrinking service like TinyURL.

Instead of creating a URL like http://tinyurl.com/1c2, you can create one that is based off your own domain name, like: http://u.ideas2executables.com/bokun.

Nifty, but this didn't strike me as particularly useful. First off, my domain is large enough that it's not really useful for shrinking URLs. Second of all, services like bit.ly actually provide a number of cool features (like real time link tracking) that make it more attractive than the Google app (which, to its credit, does have basic link tracking).

But Wait, Maybe It Is Useful

And then it hit my why this add-on is absolutely invaluable. Suppose I create a welcome presentation for new clients - the default URL for it is going to be pretty ugly. Something like:

http://docs.google.com/present/view?id=dgbdrzrd_47gg8pgdf3

Using the Google Apps Short Links plugin, I can create a named link like:

http://u.ideas2executables.com/welcome-demo

The result, of course, is a nice looking URL that feels like it belongs to my company. This is the difference in professional look one gets when comparing a @gmail.com e-mail and your own custom domain.

The Short Links plugin also works with any URLs, not just Google related ones. So you can link to eBay auctions, or Squidoo pages, or anything else you'd like. It's definitely powerful stuff.

2 comments:

  1. Dude... while reading your post, I got hungry for oatmeal. hunted around for a spoon - and suddenly, unbidden, I remembered you had a sign written on brown cardboard hanging outside your cube once in A.M.

    "Will code for spoons"

    That URL isn't that short btw. But it's SEO friendly - and thus should not be named something so generic as "welcome demo" - but more like "How-To-Recirculate-The-Air-In-Your-Tires" so that it gets bumped up in SERPs.

    I'm out.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bugsbane -

    That's a good point about using keywords in the URL. That's a perspective I hadn't really thought through.

    Thanks for sharing.

    -Ben

    ReplyDelete

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