Why Go.USA.gov does not currently create custom URLs

We get a lot of requests for vanity URLs on Go.USA.gov. For instance, someone may want to shorten a URL to information about wildfire preparedness and give it a custom name like Go.USA.gov/wildfires. This is a feature of other URL shorteners like bit.ly and TinyURL, but we’re still not sure if we want to implement this on Go.USA.gov. Here’s why:

Go.USA.gov URLs are permanent, by design. They do not change, and we do not presently allow users to edit the destination of a Go.USA.gov URL. We don’t want someone to create a URL like Go.USA.gov/wildfires and have it permanently point to a URL that may go out of date or be taken down.

We also want to prevent a landgrab for the most valuable vanity URLs. We can only imagine what would happen if someone created Go.USA.gov/healthcare or Go.USA.gov/immigration.

That said, Go.USA.gov is still in beta and we’re thrilled by all of the suggestions that our users have offered us. We want to make an excellent product and we’re happy for all the help we can get. If you want to help, please contact us and please keep making suggestions!