While using social media site, people usually shorten links instead of pasting the full long URL and this is especially true for Twitter when there are 144 characters limit. Link shortening services has been around for many years, but not everyone uses it, or they simply don’t know its benefits.

A URL Shortener is a technique in which a long can be made substantially shorter whilst still directing to the required Internet page. This is achieved by using an HTTP Redirect on a domain name that is short, which links to the Internet page that has a long URL.

Google Shortener

There are many URL shortening websites, but this article will compare the two most-used short URL service: goo.gl and bit.ly.

About Goo.gl

As the name implies this service is run by Google, and it integrates with your Google Account. Goo.gl links at present include 12 characters (excluding http:// but including dots and slashes).

Goo.gl allows you to enter a long URL and have it create a shortened version like any other URL shorteners service. However, it also creates a dashboard of URLs as you go, so that you can see all your existing links and avoid any duplication.

About Bit.ly

Bit.ly is one of the oldest  URL shortening service. Bit.ly URLs currently contain 13 characters (excluding http:// but including dots and slashes). Bitly shortens 600 million links per month, for use in social networking, SMS, and email, etc.

Goo.gl vs Bit.ly

Creating Links

Goo.gl: When you create links while you are signed, all your links are automatically added to goo.gl where you can track their use. A unique short URL is created each time a long URL is shortened. When signed out your links won’t show up on your goo.gl page. The same short URL is reused each time a long URL is shortened by you or someone else.

Bit.ly: Bit.ly allows you to sign in with your Facebook or Twitter account or you can create a seperate account. You can also customise your shortened links in many ways.

Tracking URLs and Analytics

Goo.gl: You can see how many people have clicked on your URL by visiting goo.gl.

For more detailed information about the URL’s use, including the countries, browsers, and platforms that accessed it, add .info to the end of your short URL. For example, detailed tracking for http://goo.gl/9AUni4 can be found at http://goo.gl/9AUni4.info. Tracking for all goo.gl short links are publicly visible to all users.

Bit.ly: Bit.ly has a lot of advanced features and tools over Google. Bit.ly provides the smarter analytics tools that enable users to experience real time experience of how their shared link is performing online.

You can control your brand and capture your data and optimize your marketing tactics to drive engagement. Various tools are provided to analyze and understand your engaged audience acquired through owned and earned brand assets, across all platforms and devices.

Custom URLs

Goo.gl: At present, Google Shortener does not provide this feature.

Bit.ly: The biggest advantage of bit.ly is that you can create customised URLs. So instead of http://bit.ly/1geAJ1U you can create something like http://bit.ly/seolinkbuildingorg. This is a great advantage and something that Goo.gl doesn’t offer. You can shorten and brand your links using branded short domains and optimize link performance through custom Bitlinks.

Spam and Security

Goo.gl: People trust Google shortened link because of the brand name, and the trust that people have in the organization. In terms of security, Google is the best. You can even report abusive goo.gl short links by filling out a spam report.

Bit.ly: Bit.ly users suffer from a lot of abuse from the spammers, which degrades the efficiency and quality of bit.ly links.

A Quick Check: Goo.gl vs Bit.ly

Goo.gl Advantages

  • Provide good Analytics
  • Login is not mandatory.
  • No need to create separate login account
  • Powered by The Google (A trusting factor)
  • Generate a QR code of a shortened link for scanning on mobile devices.

Goo.gl Disadvantage

  • Duplicate link’s issue
  • No way to remove from links from listing
  • Does not provide custom URLs
  • Cannot use a custom domain

Bit.ly Advantages

  • Login is not mandatory
  • You can see top performing shortened links
  • Reliable shortening service
  • Provide smarter Analytics data
  • You can set links as private or public
  • Ability to use your own domain
  • Provide addons and plugins for popular services and software
  • You can add notes and edit link’s description
  • Ability to bundle a bunch of URLs
  • Possibility to archive the URLs when not needed

Bit.ly Disadvantages

  • Spam issue
  • Redirection of links is slower than goo.gl
  • No way to remove shortened links from their database