It is supposed to use a permanent 301 redirect to forward users to the appropriate page (i.e. - pass on the full benefits of PR).
However, I am still not too keen on it until they allow customization of the short URLs. Right now, the shortened URLs are random letters and numbers, which are hard to memorize. A more intuitive URL, like schoolpage or librarypage, would make the service a LOT better. Existing shorteners, like snipurl and bitly do this.
Making URLs shorter for Google Toolbar and FeedBurner
12/14/2009 12:31:00 PM
This morning, we launched updated versions of the Google Toolbar and FeedBurner that offer a new URL shortening service from Google called the Google URL Shortener. We mentioned our URL shortener as a feature in both announcements, so we wanted to say a little more about how this product works and why we're offering it.
People share a lot of links online. This is particularly true as microblogging services such as Twitter have grown in popularity. If you're not familiar with them, URL shorteners basically squeeze a long URL into fewer characters to make it easier to share with others. With character limits in tweets, status updates and other modes of short form publishing, a shorter URL leaves more room to say what's on your mind — and that's why people use them.
First, we think people who use the Google Toolbar and FeedBurner will benefit from a shortener that is easily accessible — making it faster and easier to share, post and email links. Second, we've built this on Google's global infrastructure to offer the following benefits:
Stability: Google's scalable, multi-datacenter infrastructure provides great uptime and a reliable service to our users.
Security: As we do with web search, shortened URLs are automatically checked to detect sites that may be malicious and warn users when the short URL resolves to such sites.
Speed: At Google we like fast products and we've worked hard to ensure this service is quick. We'll continue to iterate and improve the speed of Google Url Shortener.
Google URL shortener is not a stand-alone service; you can't use it to shorten links directly. Currently, Google URL Shortener is only available from the Google Toolbar and FeedBurner. If the service proves useful, we may eventually make it available for a wider audience in the future.
We're excited about enabling this functionality — try it for Toolbar and FeedBurner!
Posted by Muthu Muthusrinivasan, Ben D'Angelo and Devin Mullins, Software Engineers