Sunsetting Go.USA.gov Frequently Asked Questions

Posted by: the Go.USA.gov Team on May 19, 2022

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) will sunset the Go.USA.gov service on September 18, 2022. This post aims to answer common questions about sunsetting Go.USA.gov and will be updated with additional answers as they become available.

This post was last updated on May 19, 2022.

How should I move forward?

We recommend considering the following when evaluating your situation:

  • Do your outreach channels require short URLs? Consider if URLs that include your website’s domain have more value to your public and if your outreach tools require short URLs.
  • Does using a URL shortening solution expose your customers to security risks? Consider the potential for abuse by malicious actors through the use of illegitimate redirects that can be abused via short URLs.
  • Does using a short URL that isn’t based on your primary domain cause confusion with your customers? Consider the possible confusion the public may have if they visit shortened URLs that don't include your website’s domain for information and it leads them to information they weren’t expecting.

When does the service formally end?

GSA will sunset the Go.USA.gov service on September 18, 2022.

Will I be able to create new Go.USA.gov short URLs until the sunset date?

You will no longer be able to create new Go.USA.gov short URLs after August 31, 2022.

Will short URLs still work after September 18, 2022 (i.e. live on forever)?

Go.USA.gov short URLs created on or after January 1, 2017 will continue to work. However, URLs created before this date will not continue to work once the service has been sunset.

How do I know when my URL was created?

The URL creation date is listed along with the corresponding long URL under the “Your Links” section. To access the “Your Links” section, log in to Go.USA.gov and click the “Home” link in the site’s header.

What happens if a user tries to follow/access a Go.USA.gov short URL after the service is sunset?

Go.USA.gov short URLs created on or after January 1, 2017 will continue to work. However, URLs created before this date will not continue to work once the service has been sunset and users will receive an error message.

What can be done if Go.USA.gov short URLs were referenced in print publications?

Go.USA.gov short URLs created on or after January 1, 2017 will continue to work. However, URLs created before this date will not continue to work once the service has been sunset and users will receive an error message.

Will metrics be available for clicks made on a short URL after the service is sunset?

No. Any clicks made on a short URL after the September 18th sunset date will not be updated and access to the metrics reporting functionality will no longer be available.

Can we still download the metrics for our short URLs once the service is sunset?

No. You will need to download metrics prior to September 18, 2022.

How do we download our metrics before the service is sunset?

You can download a CSV file of the click counts for all of your shortened URLs by logging in to your account. Under the "Your Links" section, you can view the metrics for each of your short URLs and export them to CSV. For additional information, please visit the support page on accessing your short URL metrics. Bulk downloads of metrics are not possible and you must download them individually.

What if we use the Go.USA.gov API to automatically generate short URLs?

The Go.USA.gov API will become inaccessible for creating new short URLs after August 31, 2022.

Go.USA.gov short URLs created on or after January 1, 2017 will continue to work. However, URLs created before this date will not continue to work once the service has been sunset and users will receive an error message.

What other URL shortener services are out there for agencies to use?

Before looking for alternative URL shortening solutions, you may want to consider if you need a short URL at all. Many social media sites are no longer limiting character counts in URLs. Our research with the public strongly suggests that a URL from your own domain is the most trustworthy. For example, see Medicare’s Twitter feed.

If you require short URLs, reach out to the agency’s IT office that runs your website. They may be able to create a redirect URL. There are also commercial URL shorteners available. However, your usage of these may be impacted by policies your agency has in place.

How does this affect the other services I receive from GSA?

The other services you receive from GSA are not affected. This notification is limited in scope to Go.USA.gov.

If I have other questions that aren’t answered here, who can I ask?

If you have any additional questions about the sunsetting of Go.USA.gov, please email us at go.usa.gov@gsa.gov.