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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.

Short URLs Should Work Correctly

Yesterday we made changes to Go.USA.gov that resulted in some short URLs not redirecting to the appropriate destination. We believe we've fixed this problem. All short URLs should function properly again.

Any URL that was created last night while we were experiencing issues may not work today. This is because we had to revert to earlier settings.

If you experience problems, please e-mail us at go.usa.gov@gsa.gov. Again, we are very sorry for these errors.

Some Short URLs Are Not Working Properly

This afternoon we deployed changes to improve Go.USA.gov. Unfortunately, these changes resulted in some negative consequences that did not appear during testing. Some existing short URLs now redirect to other government sites. We deeply apologize for this and we're working to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

Details for Short URLs Disabled Until December

Over the past few weeks, you may have noticed that Go.USA.gov was down or unstable. We've traced this issue back to frequent calls being made to the details page for short URLs, which shows referrers and click details. As a result, we've had to temporarily disable the details page to ensure the stability of the service. This link currently returns an error message. The number of clicks for each shortened URL is still available.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We are working to fix this ongoing problem by only allowing logged-in users to see the details for a short URL. We plan to make this fix in early December.

Details for Short URLs are Now Available

In May, we announced that the referrers page for short URLs had been temporarily disabled. We’re happy to say that last week we enabled this feature and the referrers page is available again.

You can see the referrers for a short URL by clicking on the link that says “details for xxx.”

We’re monitoring the pages to make sure they do not cause system disruptions. If you notice any issues or have problems accessing the referrers page for a short URL, please let us know. You can leave a comment on this blog post, tweet us @GoUSAgov, or contact us.

Details for Short URLs Temporarily Disabled

We provide basic metrics for every short URL you create, such as number of clicks and referrers. Unfortunately, we had to temporarily disable the page that shows referrers. The number of clicks is still available.

You can normally see referrers for a short URL by clicking on the link that says “details for xxx.” This link currently returns an error message.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We are working to fix the details link and hope to make it available again in the next few weeks.

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