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Why You Can't Delete a Go.USA.gov Link

Go.USA.gov links are permanent by design. They cannot be changed or modified. This is to ensure they always redirect to their assigned URL.

To maintain this permanence, they also cannot be deleted.

If you create a Go.USA.gov link you no longer need or want, just ignore it. You can use the new notes feature to add a note to yourself so you remember which links are in use and which are not.

New Features and Improvements: Search Your URLs, Add Notes, New Bookmarklet, and More!

We’re happy to announce another round of new features and improvements! Please let us know if you see anything that looks unusual or if you have questions.

Log In With Your Username or E-Mail Address

You can now log in to Go.USA.gov with either your username or e-mail address. Previously, you could only log in with your username.

Search Your Short URLs

When you log in to your account, you’ll see a new Search Your URLs tab where you can search for partial or full long URLs that you’ve previously shortened with Go.USA.gov. For example, you can search for just .mil or enter a more specific long URL, such as http://www.usa.gov/Agencies/State- and-Territories.shtml, to find all of your short URLs that point to this destination.

Add Notes to Short URLs

Now you can add notes to each short URL that you create. To add a note, click on the “notes” link under a short URL in your history and then save. You can also access this new feature via the short URL details link.

Shorten URLs from Your Browser with the Bookmarklet

Shorten URLs directly from your browser with our new bookmarklet. To add it to your browser’s bookmark bar, visit your profile by clicking on your username in the top right corner of the screen. There you’ll see a link you can drag to your browser’s bookmark bar. Now visit a website and click the “Go.USA.gov URL Shorten” link in your bookmark bar to shorten the URL for that page.

We know that right now after you shorten a link, you can't select it and copy it. We are working to fix that as soon as we can.

Download Improved CSV Exports

Log into your account to download a CSV file that shows all of your short URLs, their corresponding long URL, the date it was created, number of clicks, and more. We fixed the date field so it shows the full date the URL was created instead of just the month and year.

Use the API to Get All Short URLs

We added a new API method so you can get a list of every URL you’ve ever shortened. See the Export Method in the API documentation for details.

Other Minor Improvements

We made a few other changes, like improving URL validation, adding the ability to shorten URLs from FTP sites or from websites that use a non- standard port number, and upgrading to the latest version of Drupal.

Known Issues

Unfortunately, when implementing these changes, we accidentally removed the URL description that automatically appeared when shortening a new URL. We also know that you can’t copy the short URL from the bookmarklet’s message

We will fix these issues and any others we might find in our next release, which is currently scheduled for March 2014.

Fix in the Works for Missing Page Buttons

We made a code change to fix a defect and the change accidentally removed the next and previous page buttons from your short URL history. Sorry about that! The good news is that a fix should be in place soon.

In the meantime, you can find metrics for old short URLs by using the export to CSV feature.

You can also access the details for any short URL by using this shortcut: https://go.usa.gov/shorturl/link/xxxx. For example, the details for http://go.usa.gov/abdc are now available at https://go.usa.gov/shorturl/link/abcd.

UPDATE 10/31: The next and previous page buttons are back! Again, sorry for the inconvenience. 

Government Shutdown

Due to the government shutdown, information on this website may not be up to date. For information about available government services, visit USA.gov.

We will not respond to e-mails and other messages during the government shutdown.

UPDATE 10/17/13 - We're back and will respond to all messages soon.

Better Performance and Metric Downloads Are Available

We know that Go.USA.gov has been slow. We're sorry.

As the service has grown, it hasn't been able to keep up with the amount of users - now more than 10,000. We’re grateful for your support, and we have some good news to share.

We just finished completely re-engineering the back-end of the site to fix the slow speeds.

Additionally, the back-end improvements have allowed us to re-enable the CSV export function we had to take offline back in 2010. We hoped disabling the CSV export would be temporary, but it took us longer than expected to find a permanent solution to the problem. Again, we’re sorry.

We're also happy to report that these improvements include a frequently requested change: Go.USA.gov metrics will now exclude search engine bot traffic. We can't promise that all bot traffic will be blocked, but we have taken steps to exclude the major search engines. This change only applies to metrics collected after the changes were launched on August 21, 2013. We are not able to retroactively apply it to metrics tallied before the change.

We hope you're enjoying the improved speed and metrics, and we're incredibly grateful to you for sticking with us as we figured it all out. Please let us know if you see anything that looks unusual or if you have questions.

The Go.USA.gov API is Now Available

We’re excited to announce that our API is available! This has been the most requested feature since we launched, and we’re happy it’s finally available.

With the Go.USA.gov API, you can

  • Shorten a URL
  • Preview the destination of a short URL
  • Get the number of clicks on a short URL

The API is available to all registered Go.USA.gov users. If you already have a Go.USA.gov account, you can find your API key by logging in to Go.USA.gov and clicking on your username in the upper-right corner of the screen. Please contact us if you are a government employee, but are unable to register for an account.

To learn more about the API and how to use it, view the documentation.

Please contact us if you have questions or suggestions about the API. We’d love to hear your feedback and learn how you are using the API.

Service Outage: Go.USA.gov Will Be Offline Tuesday, August 21 at 9pm ET

Beginning on Tuesday, August 21 at 9pm ET, you will not be able to access Go.USA.gov to shorten URLs or view metrics. Existing short URLs will not work during the outage. We expect the service will be down for 3-4 hours and apologize for any inconvenience.

This outage will enable us to improve the backend infrastructure for Go.USA.gov, and make it more stable and reliable for you.

Some E-Mail Addresses Not Receiving Go.USA.gov Messages

When you create a new Go.USA.gov user account or request a new password, an e-mail is immediately generated and sent. Unfortunately, some government e-mail addresses are not receiving our messages. This problem mostly impacts people with .mil e-mail addresses, but others are affected as well.

If this happens to you, please email us at go.usa.gov@gsa.gov and we can manually reset your password.

We are actively working to fix the problem and apologize for the inconvenience.

Service Outage: You Won’t Be Able to Create New Short URLs this Weekend

Update (2/20): The migration was a success. Thanks for your patience.

Beginning on Friday, February 17 at 9pm ET, you will not be able to create new short Go.USA.gov URLs. All existing short Go.USA.gov URLs will continue to work. Also, new users will not be allowed to register for an account.

You should be able to create short URLs again on Monday morning, if not sooner. We need to temporarily stop creating short URLs so we can move Go.USA.gov to a new hosting environment. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Also, for a short period of time after 9pm ET on Friday, Go.USA.gov will be taken completely offline. You won’t be able to create new short URLs and existing short URLs will not work. We anticipate that the service will be down for an hour or less.

We tried to complete this migration during the weekend of February 4, but had to postpone it because of technical difficulties. 

Recent Changes and Improvements

Since we launched Go.USA.gov, we've been compiling a list of your requested changes and fixes. We’re happy to report that we just implemented a number of improvements to the service based on your great feedback.

Unfortunately, when we implemented these changes yesterday afternoon, we experienced some problems that did not appear during testing. These issues have been fixed and the service should be functioning properly. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

If you have ideas for other changes, please leave a comment or email us at go.usa.gov@gsa.gov. We’d love to hear from you!

Here’s what’s new:

Fixed the Error Messages on the Blog

Our blog and some other pages on Go.USA.gov displayed an error message that said, “warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /var/www/html/includes/common.inc on line 2883.” This error message did not impact site performance or security, but we recognize that it was obtrusive. We fixed the issue and this warning no longer appears.

Expanded the Character Limit for Long URLs

Previously, only URLs that were 256 characters or less could be shortened using Go.USA.gov. This meant that very long URLs could not be shortened. We expanded the character limit to 1,024 characters. So if you have very long URLs, shorten away!

Easy Access to Details for Short URLs

Logged-in visitors can now access the details for any short URL by visiting https://go.usa.gov/shorturl/link/xxx. For example, the details for http://go.usa.gov/abc are now available at https://go.usa.gov/shorturl/link/abc.

Now Available to More State Governments

Go.USA.gov currently shortens all .gov, .mil, .si.edu, and .fed.us URLs. We now also support all xx.state.us URLs, such as tx.state.us.

If your state or local government would like to use Go.USA.gov but you cannot register for an account, please email us at go.usa.gov@gsa.gov.

Added Navigation to the Top of Every Page

It’s now easier to find the links to contact us and to our blog, FAQs, and privacy statement. These links were at the bottom of every page, but we added them to the top as well.

Changed the Type of Redirect

When you create a short Go.USA.gov URL, it creates a redirect to point the user from the short URL to the long URL. Previously, we used what’s known as a HTTP 302 redirect, which are designed to be temporary in nature. We now use HTTP 301 redirects, which are permanent. This will ensure that the pages that you link to are properly recognized by search engine spiders who get to them via a Go.USA.gov short URLs.

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