There was a time when locating a good free url shortener was hard to find, but no longer! Introducing Google's new service, goo.gl

Take this domain for example, VirtualMachineInAVirtualMachine.com, easy to remember, but a pain to type. If I go to goo.gl and enter that domain name, then Google will shorten the url for me like this: http://goo.gl/xyHY. They both go to the same domain, but one is a LOT shorter than the other.

There are a number of reasons to have a short url, such as Twitter's limit on total characters, texting and more. What really happens behind the scene is Google associates your short url to the long url and stores that information in their database. When someone types in the short url, they are taken to Google, which then analyzes the request, collects information about the computer making that request and forwards the visitor on to the correct url.

You can then log into Google's free url shortener and see stats, like number of people that clicked on your link, country they came from, browser being used and type of computer making the request. I love Google, but since they stopped sending me psychedelic Christmas gifts, I'm not giving them any more information that I have to :)

For those of you that have used TinyURL in the past, you'll love Google's new tool - It's lightening fast and promises to be extremely accurate.

Try it now, visit http://goo.gl/nBFO and you'll be taken to Google, analyzed and sent right back to this page in a snap! How that for shortening a url in record time?