Google has quietly unveiled a standalone website for its Google URL shortener at Goo.gl, pitting it against the likes of Bit.ly or TinyURL, promising that it will be the "stablest, most secure, and fastest URL shortener on the web."
The service (opens in new tab) features built in protection against malware, phishing and spam that relies on the same technology that is used for Gmail, Google search and other Google services.
Goo.gl can be tied to a user's account in which case, any shortened URL will not only be saved but more importantly, Google will keep track of a slew of details including top referrers, traffic over time etc.
URL Shorteners services have become very popular thanks to the rise of social networks and microblogging services like Tumblr or Twitter.
Still, Bit.ly remains the 800 pounds gorilla of this category despite competition from Facebook and Twitter itself. Google will offer an API for the service to allow other parties to use their own domain names in a near future.
There are a number of interesting features as well including the ability to autogenerate QR code (which can be recognised using the appropriate app on your handset) simply by appending .qr at the end of the goo.gl URL.