Google announced the launch of a new URL-shortener that will only link to official Google products and services with g.co.
"The shorter a URL, the easier it is to share and remember," said Google VP Consumer Marketing Gary Briggs. "The downside is, you often can’t tell what website you’re going to be redirected to. We’ll only use g.co to send you to webpages that are owned by Google, and only we can create g.co shortcuts. That means you can visit a g.co shortcut confident you will always end up at a page for a Google product or service."
"There’s no need to fret about the fate of goo.gl; we like it as much as you do, and nothing is changing on that front. It will continue to be our public URL shortener that anybody can use to shorten URLs across the web."
In April, Google launched some upgrades to goo.gl like an improved "copy to clipboard" option, a remove from dashboard option, and spam reporting. There were also improvements to speed and stability.
Given that Google just launched its new social network Google+ a couple weeks ago, I'd have to assume we'll still be seeing plenty of goo.gl URLs. It will be interesting to see where all Google uses the new ones.
Earlier this year we looked at URL shorteners and how they affect SEO, with commentary from Google's Matt Cutts:
More on that here.