Google introduces g.co URL shortener

Google has unveiled a new URL shortener, g.co, which will only be used to link to the company's official products and services.

Google has unveiled a new URL shortener, g.co, which will only be used to link to the company's official products and services.

Although it already has another service, goo.gl, for abbreviating any web address, Google said on Monday that the new URL shortener would give customers confidence that any g.co-based URL would lead to a Google-based service, as only that company can create such shortcuts.

As Google consumer marketing chief Gary Briggs put it in a blog post, the downside of most URL shorteners — goo.gl included — is that "you often can't tell what website you're going to be redirected to".

Security experts have frequently highlighted the inherent risk of URL shorteners as a vector for scams and malware. However, Briggs stressed that the goo.gl service would continue.

As with Twitter's t.co URL shortener, g.co is based on the Colombian country code top-level domain (ccTLD), which was opened up as an international corporate branding tool in mid-2010. The goo.gl service uses Greenland's ccTLD.

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