Tip: Make Googl URLs without Google's toolbar

Google's URL-shortening service, Googl, just got a little easier to use with Googl Lite, a free Firefox add-on that kills the need to use Google's toolbar.

Have you been lusting over Google's free URL-shortening service but unwilling to install Google's browser toolbar to use it from non-Google sites?

You're not alone, and the good news is that there are now a handful of alternatives, my favorite being Googl Lite, a free Firefox add-on that shortens the URL of any page you're on through Googl, then copies that link into your system's clipboard.

The button, just a little more than 20 pixels wide, can be placed anywhere within your browser. And if you're not fond of downloads, you can use a software-free bookmarklet that will create a shortened link for any page you're on. However, unlike the add-on, the bookmarklet does not copy the link it creates to your clipboard, which can be a time saver, if you intended to stick it into a tweet, instant message, or e-mail.

Googl Lite shortens any URL with Google's URL-shortening service and copies it to your clipboard. Screenshot by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Chrome users can also install this extension, which also copies the Googl URL to your clipboard, while giving you a shortcut to add it to a tweet.

As mentioned when we first covered Googl, there's not a whole lot of incentive to use it over more advanced link-shortening services like Bitly--at least not yet. In the near future, Google could quite easily build it into its analytics service and better index these links within its search results, making Googl a top choice for publishers and other businesses.

About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.


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