Google Using TinyURL for Shortening URLs in SMS Search

Written by Amit Agarwal on Jul 19, 2012

When you perform a web search on mobile phone using Google SMS, the SMS text message you get back from Google has two parts – web search results and a short URL that redirects to the relevant Google search page.

For instance, Google sent an SMS message with this short URL – m.google.com/u/xva9Ot – for a search query like “Global Warming.”

Now if we to use the services of TinyURL for converting that same Google page into a shorter URL, the resulting address would be something like this – tinyurl.com/6xbo7q.

Noticed a similarity ? The redirection code generated by TinyURL (6xbo7q) and Google SMS search (xva90t) have six characters each.

Since this can just be a coincidence, let’s look at the HTTP Response generated by Google that clearly says “tinyurl_server.”

google-server-response

Google is either using TinyURL service for generating short URLs or there’s another possibility – they may have developed something similar in-house but gave it the same name “tinyurl.”

Related: Google Should Consider Decoding TinyURLs

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