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Google erects Colombian 'g.co' URL shortener for Google+

Copies Twitter trick - goo.gl simply too long

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Google has followed in the footsteps of Twitter by buying a Colombian internet address to use as a corporate URL shortener.

Mountain View announced yesterday that it now owns g.co, which will only link to its official Google products.

Twitter owns t.co, so Google's latest domain purchase is clearly intended to be added to the company's growing social network efforts.

Earlier this month, Google shuttered its Realtime Search function, after Twitter switched off its "fire-hose" of feeds going into the vast online Chocolate Factory estate. The two companies had failed to reach an agreement to keep the deal alive.

In January this year, Google opened an API for its new URL-shortening service. At the time, it pointed out that the application programming interface would allow applications and websites to not only shorten urls but also to monitor traffic to those links. Individuals could still use the service at http://goo.gl.

It first got in on the URL-shortening game in December 2009, but its usage was limited.

"The shorter a URL, the easier it is to share and remember. The downside is, you often can't tell what website you're going to be redirected to. We'll only use g.co to send you to webpages that are owned by Google, and only we can create g.co shortcuts," explained Google in a blog post yesterday.

"That means you can visit a g.co shortcut confident you will always end up at a page for a Google product or service."

In other words, it has been honed for Google+, the ad broker's latest social network.

Google added that goo.gl would continue to serve as its public URL shortener. ®

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