Earlier this week, Google released a GoogleWebmasterHelp video in which Matt Cutts assured sites' owners that good URL shorteners don't create problems when it comes to SEO. Now, whether by coincidence or to perhaps capitalize on any resulting increase in usage, Google's own URL shortener (goo.gl) has been upgraded.
The raft of changes starts with an improved "copy to clipboard" option. A post on the Official Google Blog explained, "When a new short URL is created, the text on the page will automatically be highlighted, and you can simply press Control+C (or Command+C on a Mac) to copy it."
Then the post added, "You can also now remove items from your dashboard, so that you can see a quick summary of only your most important links and hide the ones you no longer need. Please note that when you hide a short URL, you're only removing it from your own dashboard. The URL will still exist and work."
Finally - and perhaps most importantly - Google's continued to make speed and stability improvements to goo.gl, while also introducing a spam reporting page. Which should all help ensure that the URL shortener maintains a good reputation.
Granted, these changes may not have an overnight effect on goo.gl's popularity; they're far more evolutionary than revolutionary. Still, a better tool should benefit everyone (except rivals), and there don't appear to be any drawbacks to these adjustments.
Google invited feedback in the event anyone has some ideas for how goo.gl can be further improved in the future, too.