Google’s URL shortener, which, to date, has been closely tied to its existing products, is now debuting as a stand-alone service. The company first introduced the URL shortener last December, saying Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Toolbar and Feedburner users would be able to use it to shorten links, and since then has added integrated it with Google News, Blogger, and Maps. But Google now says people will be able to head to goo.gl to input a link from any site and have it shortened.
The product adds even more competition to companies, like Bit.ly, which are already facing competition from Twitter, which began automatically shortening links on its site this summer. Google acknowledges in its announcement that “there are many shorteners out there with great features” but says its own product stands out because of its “quality,” stating that “every time you shorten a URL, you know it will work, it will work fast, and it will keep working.”