About Go.USA.gov

On This Page:

Go.USA.gov is a URL shortener for government employees. It takes a long URL, like http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Environment-Agriculture.shtml, and turns it into a short URL like http://go.usa.gov/TBUj.

Go.USA.gov only shortens government URLs - that is: .mil, .gov, .fed.us, .si.edu and .state.xx.us URLs. We are willing to make exceptions for other URLs that meet our criteria.

The service is only open to government employees. You must have a verifiable U.S. federal, state, or local government e-mail address to register for a Go.USA.gov account. If you are a government employee, but are unable to automatically register, please contact us.

Go.USA.gov also tracks the number of clicks each shortened URL receives, allowing users to measure the impact of their outreach. Learn more about Go.USA.gov analytics.

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Help and Reset Your Password

Contact Us

You can e-mail us at go.usa.gov@gsa.gov, or you can tweet us at @GoUSAgov.

Password and Username Help

As long as you know the e-mail address you used to set up your account, we can help you get your user name and password. You should receive an e-mail soon after requesting a new password.

If you do not receive the password reset e-mail, please send us an e-mail at go.usa.gov@gsa.gov.

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About Go.USA.gov Short URLs

Go.USA.gov Short URLs Never Expire

Short links created by Go.USA.gov will always redirect to their assigned URL.

Go.USA.gov Short URLs Can’t Be Deleted

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

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

Character Limit for Long URLs Shortened By Go.USA.gov

Currently, URLs must be 1,024 characters or less to shorten correctly.

Why We Use Go.USA.gov Instead of Go.gov

Go.USA.gov was created to serve citizens and we believe that including USA.gov in the shortened URLs makes them more intuitive and meaningful to users. Many Internet users may not realize that .gov is the exclusive top-level domain of the U.S. government, and USA.gov adds valuable context to the short URLs.

Using Short URLs in Print Publications

We strongly recommend only using shortened URLs in situations when the URL is clickable. Experience has shown us that people have trouble when they see a shortened URL in a print publication and then try to type the URL in the address bar of their browser. They may only type "go.usa.gov" or make a typographical error that will send them to the Go.USA.gov home page and make them (understandably) frustrated and confused because they can’t find what they came for.

How to Create 1.USA.gov URLs

Anyone—including non government employees—can create 1.USA.gov short URLs by using Bitly.com, or any service that uses Bitly’s API, to shorten a .gov or .mil URL. Learn more about the difference between Go.USA.gov and 1.USA.gov.

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Short URL Analytics

Frequency of Analytics

The "Recently Shortened Links" analytics found on the home page are updated within minutes of shortening a URL. The analytics on the URLs you’ve shortened are updated constantly.

Download Your Analytics

You can download a CSV file of the click counts for all of your shortened URLs by logging in to your account. Look for the link to export to CSV under "Your Links."

Explore Referrers and Analytics by Date

You can see referrer clicks by domain and URL by clicking the details link under a short URL.

You can also get to this page directly by using this shortcut: metrics for go.usa.gov/abcd are at go.usa.gov/shorturl/link/abcd.

Only logged in users of Go.USA.gov may access these detailed metrics.

Why Your Short URL Metrics May Not Match Other Tools

Unfortunately, we were not able to exclude bot traffic from the click count for short URLs created before August 21, 2013. This means that a click was recorded every time a person clicked on your link and also when a machine "clicked" on it while running an automated task.

Short URLs created after August 21, 2013 should have more accurate click counts because we excluded most 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.

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Custom Short URLs

Creating Custom Go.USA.gov Short URLs

You cannot create custom Go.USA.gov URLs, such as Go.USA.gov/wildfires. This is a feature of other URL shorteners, but we’re not sure if we want to implement this on Go.USA.gov. See our blog for a detailed explanation.

Creating Custom Short URLs for Your Agency

Go.USA.gov cannot customize short URLs for your agency, such as Go.EPA.gov. This is not possible with the current Go.USA.gov configuration. Also, we believe USA.gov adds valuable context to the short URLs since many Internet users do not recognize agency acronyms.

Please talk to your agency’s IT department if you would like to implement a custom URL shortening solution.

Creating a New .gov Domain

Go.USA.gov only shortens existing government URLs. If you would like to set up a new .gov domain, please visit the .gov Domain Name Registration Service.

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Domain and Registration Exceptions

Domain Exceptions

Go.USA.gov automatically shortens .gov, .mil, .si.edu, .fed.us, and .state.xx.us URLs. We will make exceptions for domains that provide official information from the government and meet these criteria:

  • .org and .com - must be operated by federal, state, or local governments, such as sfgov.org and www.oakgov.com.
  • .edu - must be operated by the federal government (or by federal statute for quasi-government institutions), such as nps.edu or si.edu.

We will NOT make exceptions for

  • Domains that are not wholly owned by federal, state, or local governments, such as youtube.com/usagov.
  • Domains and subdomains that may not contain entirely government information, such as state university websites.
  • Domains that serve a commercial purpose, such as tourism sites.

Please contact us if you would like Go.USA.gov to shorten a URL that meets these requirements.

Registration Exceptions

Anyone with a .gov, .mil, .si.edu, .fed.us, or .state.xx.us e-mail address can automatically register for a Go.USA.gov account.

We will also allow other government employees to use Go.USA.gov if the e-mail address meets one of these criteria:

  • Federal and state government employees with .edu e-mail addresses. The change will only be made for a specific e-mail address, not the entire domain.
  • County or local government e-mail addresses that end in .us, such as warrenville.il.us or co.hanover.va.us.
  • Employees with .org e-mail addresses that meet the domain exception criteria above and are only given to government employees.

Please contact us if you are a government employee who would like to use Go.USA.gov but are unable to automatically register for an account.

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APIs and for Developers

The Go.USA.gov API

Go.USA.gov offers an API that shortens URLs, previews the destination of short URLs, gets the number of clicks on short URLs, and exports short URLs from an account. View the API documentation.

Development

USA.gov developed Go.USA.gov in coordination with members of the Drupal community. It was developed in Drupal using the theme base Blueprint, relied on Drupal Core, and used the Shorten, Short URL, and TLD restriction modules. If you want to contribute to Go.USA.gov, please contact us.

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Policies

What You Can Expect

Go.USA.gov is available "as is." We strive to keep the service stable and reliable, but can’t guarantee 100% availability. If you shorten a URL using Go.USA.gov and the original URL changes, Go.USA.gov can’t guarantee that our link will redirect to the correct location. However, we definitely want to know if you encounter a problem or issue with Go.USA.gov. Please contact us if you experience problems or have suggestions for improving Go.USA.gov.

We also post notifications of scheduled maintenance and other updates on Twitter at @GoUSAgov.

Other Policies

Learn more about our terms of service, privacy policy, security, and other policies on our Website Policies page.

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