Some of you may have noticed that in our Immigration News section, certain outbound links may be pointing to something like:
What is that!? In case you’re wondering, it is actually the same address (URL) as this one:
Yes, we are using shortened URLs, but almost exclusively on USCIS pages which are extremely long, as demonstrated in the example above. USCIS’ content management system apparently add these dynamically generated “keys” in their URL, but it is meaningless to users. We started using URL shortening on Twitter first, which is necessary due to the 140-character limit, but thought it wouldn’t hurt to try it on our news page because it contains lots of links to USCIS updates.
There are many URL shorteners such as TinyURL, bit.ly, tr.im, and so on. I picked Google’s shortening service arbitrarily, or because I have been a fan of Google’s tools for years and their Chrome browser offers a convenient tool to trim long URLs with one click.
So there you go. Don’t grow suspicious when you see a weird goo.gl link on our site; it is taking you to a legitimate source – as always – we are just tired of super long USCIS web addresses.